Patrick Bellegarde-Smith is a professor emeritus of Africology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He obtained a Ph.D. from The American University in international studies and taught in that field. Later, he taught courses in both African-American and Women’s Studies. His scholarship presently is in the areas of African and neo-African religious thought and social philosophy, with an emphasis on national and cultural identities. Bellegarde-Smith has authored, edited and co-edited five books on these subjects, and a large number of articles, notably In The Shadows of Power: Dantes Bellegarde in Haitian Social Thought; Haiti: The Breached Citadel, and Fragments of Bone: Neo-African Religions in the New World. Some of this work has been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
Bellegarde-Smith is the recipient of the Medaille Jean Price-Mars, Universite d’Etat d’Haiti, and of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Scholarship from the Haitian Studies Association. Currently, he is the President of the Congress of Santa Barbara (KOSANBA), a scholarly association for the study of Haitian Vodou, and the Vice-President (and President-elect) of the Haitian Studies Association. Additionally, he is an associate editor of the Journal of Haitian Studies, a member of the international editorial board of Kalfou: A journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Africana Religions. Also, Bellegarde-Smith is a oungan asogwe, a priest of Vodou.