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Jamil Grimes

D. Jamil Grimes is a PhD student and Russell G. Hamilton Scholar at Vanderbilt University, where he primarily works as a religious historian of early America via an Atlantic-World approach. He minors in literary studies and is enrolled in the Jewish Studies Graduate Certificate program. Jamil holds a Master of Divinity from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where he earned both the Burton Z. Cooper Prize and Fielding Lewis Walker Fellowship for his work in theology,  as well as a Master of Arts in Liberal Arts from Middle Tennessee State University. At the latter, he served as an adjunct professor, teaching a variety of religious studies courses. 


While Jamil has diverse research interests, much of his current work grapples with the reception of post-revolutionary Haiti within the Atlantic World. He is especially interested in where that reception involves judgments about Haiti’s religious identity. As a historian, Jamil explores this topic using traditional archival materials, but his passion for literature leads him to also engage with the novel as a distinct literary genre that provides valuable evidence regarding past attitudes, aspirations, and anxieties. He has presented his research at several conferences, including the North American Association for the Study of Religion and the Association for Jewish Studies.


Jamil is a native Charleston (SC) but a longtime resident of Nashville, a home he shares with his wide and supportive family.