Associate professor of anthropology Phillips Stevens Jr.

Phillips Stevens Jr.

Associate Professor
Office: Spaulding Bldg 4, Room 365
Phone Number: (716) 645-0416
Email Address:


PhD, Northwestern University
MA, Northwestern University
BA, Yale University

Research Interests

Cultural anthropology, religion, cultural change; West Africa, Caribbean.

Courses Offered

Undergraduate Courses
APY 369 | Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa
APY 377 | Magic, Sorcery and Witchcraft
APY 393 | The Anthropology of Religion
APY 494 | Senior Seminar: Anthro. Approaches to Contemporary Social Issues

Graduate Courses
APY 513 | Cultural Change
APY 555 | Advanced Ethnology: Africa
APY 556 | Seminar in Religion and Society

Selected Recent Publications

2018  The Sacred Mount: Toward an Anthropology of Sacred Mountains.  In The Archaeology of Mountain Landscapes. Proceedings of the Tenth Anniversary Conference of the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology, Buffalo, April 2017. Arnau Garcia, ed.  Albany: SUNY Press, forthcoming.

2016  40 Years at Play: What Have We Achieved? Keynote Address delivered at the 40th Anniversary Meeting of The Association for the Study of Play, April 2014.  In Celebrating 40 Years of Play Research: Connecting our Past, Present, and Future.  Play and Culture Studies, Vol. 13.  Michael M. Patte and John A. Sutterby, eds.  Lanham, MD: Hamilton Books/Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 3-18.

2016  Anthropology and Sacrifice. In Diversity of Sacrifice: Form and Function of Sacrificial Practices in the Ancient World and Beyond.  Proceedings of 2011 IEMA Conference.  Carrie Murray, ed.  Albany: SUNY Press, pp. 15-29.

2015  Articles on “Culture and Sexuality” (283-290), “Mystical Genital Power” (pp. 469-471), and “Pollution, Sexual” (913-915) in International Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin, eds.  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

2015  The Star of Bethlehem: Exploring the Persian Connection. Natural History, April, 36-38.

2012  TA(A)SP: The Formative Years. The International Journal of Play I, 1, March, 96-102.2011 (ed.) The Anthropology of Religion: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies. 4 volumes. London: Routledge.

2011 (ed.) The Anthropology of Religion: Critical Concepts in Religious Studies. 4 volumes. London: Routledge.

2010b  “Cults,” in Brigitte H. Bechtold and Donna Cooper Graves, eds. An Encyclopedia of Infanticide. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 76-78.

2010a  Articles on “Esu” (Vol. I, pp. 347-8), “Mangu” (II, 99-101), “Spirits and Spirit Possession” (II, 355-357),  “Vodou” (II, 411-413), and “Witchcraft” (II, 429-434). In, F. Abiola Irele and Biodun Jeyifo, eds., Encyclopedia of African Thought. New York: Oxford University Press.

2008b  Play and Liminality in Rites of Passage: From Elder to Ancestor in West Africa (see 2004a) In Richard L. Warms, James F. Garber, and R. Jon McGee, eds., Sacred Realms: Essays in Religion, Belief, and Society. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw- Hill, pp. 175-185.

2008a  Universal Cultural Elements in the Satanic Demonology. In James R. Lewis and Jesper A. Petersen, eds., Encyclopedic Sourcebook of Satanism. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, pp. 264-273.

2006b  Women’s Aggressive Use of Genital Power in Africa. Transcultural Psychiatry, special issue in honor of Raymond Prince. Vol. 43, No. 4, December, 592-599.

2006a  Articles on “Magic” (pp. 1512-1518), “Mana” (1525-1526), “Sorcery” (2117-2120), “Symboling” (2148-2150), “Taboos” (2153-2154), “Witch Doctor” (2317-2318), and ‘Witchcraft” (2319-2324). In Encyclopedia of Anthropology. H. James Birx, ed. Thousand Oaks , CA : Sage Publications.

2005  “Witches.” In Anand Prahlad, ed., The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African-American Folklore. Westport , CT : Greenwood Press, pp. 1375-1381.

2005  Articles on “Magic, Sorcery and Witchcraft in Africa” (pp. 684-688) and “Magic, Sorcery and Witchcraft in the Americas” (688-690), in K. Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr., eds., Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience, 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press.