Office: 3323A Life Sciences Building

Office Hours: Tuesday 11-12pm

Thursday 11-12pm 

Associate Professor

The Department of African American Studies, The UCLA Institute for Society & Genetics

Terence Keel is a historian, scholar of religion, critical race theorist who earned his PhD from Harvard University. He has written widely about the history of racism and its connections to science, religion, politics, and modern life. Keel’s first book Divine Variations, published by Stanford University Press, documents the intellectual legacy shared between modern scientific racism and religion in Europe and America. Keel has come to UCLA as an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics, and the Department of African American Studies. He previously taught at UC Santa Barbara where he served a Vice Chair to the Department of History and was the first Black Studies Professor to receive the Harold J. Plous Award- the highest honor given to a junior faculty member in recognition for his scholarship and teaching. Keel is an affiliate of the newly formed Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health under the directorship of Dr. Chandra Ford of the UCLA Fielding School of Pubic Health. Keel is also a senior advisor for the Goldin Institute- a Chicago based non-profit organization that advocates globally for grassroots leadership, conflict resolution, poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.


PhD, Harvard University, 2012

MTS, Harvard Divinity School, 2005

BA, Xavier University of New Orleans, 2003



Keel, Terence D., “Blumenbach’s Racial Science in the Light of Christian Supersessionism” in, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach: Race and Natural History, 1750-1850 ed. Nicolaas Rupke and Gerhard Lauer (NY: Routledge, 2018), 123-141 

Keel, Terence D., Divine Variations: How Christian Thought Became Racial Science (Stanford: Stanford University Press, January 2018)

 Keel, Terence D., “Human-Neanderthal Hybrids and the Frontier of Critical Race Studies” in, Red and Yellow, Black and Brown: Decentering Whiteness in Mixed Race Studies ed. Paul Spickard and Rudy Guevarra (NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2017) 


Keel, Terence D., “The Religious Preconditions for the Race Concept in Modern Science”, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, Vol. 54, No. 1 (March 2019): 225-229.

Keel, Terence D., “Response to My Critics: The Life of Christian Racial Forms in Modern Science”, Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, Vol. 54, No. 1 (March 2019): 261-279.

Keel, Terence D., “Race on both Sides of the Razor”, Kalfou “Symposium Issue on Race and Science”, Spring  2018, Vol. 5, Issue 1, 7-17 

Keel, Terence D., “Concluding Remarks: Social Justice Requires BioCritical Inquiry” Kalfou “Symposium Issue on Race and Science”, Spring  2018, Vol. 5, Issue 1, 68-75

Keel, Terence D., Obasogie, Osagie, and Bridges, Khiara “Introduction: Critical Race Theory and the Life Sciences” (Symposium Issue) American Journal of Law and Medicine, Fall 2017 Vol. 43, Issue 2 & 3

Keel, Terence D., “(Review): Michael Yudell. Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century” New York City, New York, Columbia University Press, 2014. xvi, 304 pp. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 2016, 71 (1): 107-109

Keel, Terence D., “Charles V. Roman, Racial Medicine, and the Specter of Polygenism in Progressive Era Public Health Research,” Social History of Medicine, May 2015, 28 (4): 742-766

Keel, Terence D., “Religion, Polygenism, and the Early Science of Human Origins” History of the Human Sciences, Vol. 26, Issue 2, April 2013: 3-32

Keel, Terence D., “Neanderthal Genes, Religion and the Search for the Unique Identity of Modern Humans” Gene Watch Vol. 23, Issue 3, May-June 2010

Keel, Terence D., “Religion, Race, and the Neanderthal Genome” The Immanent Frame, July 22, 2010


Keel, Terence D., Obasogie, Osagie, Bridges, Khiara (eds.) American Journal of Law and Medicine (Symposium Issue) Fall 2017, Vol. 43, Issue 2 & 3

Keel, Terence D., Lipsitz, George (eds.) Kalfou “Symposium Issue on Race and Science”, Spring  2018, Vol. 5, Issue 1


University Honor: Harold J. Plous Award, UC Santa Barbara, 2017

UC Consortium for Black Studies in CA, Faculty Research Grant, 2016-2017

UC Center for New Racial Studies Faculty Research Working Group Grant: “Critical Theory and Scientific Methods” 2015-2016

University of California Faculty Enrichment Grant 2013-2016

 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, Science, Technology and Society Division 2010-2012