Terence Keel


Life Sciences Building 3323A


For inquiries related to joining the BioCritical Studies Lab, please email biostudieslab@g.ucla.edu

B.A. Xavier University of Louisiana
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School
Ph.D. Harvard University

Terence Keel is a Professor with a split appointment in the Department of African American Studies, and the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics. He has written extensively about race, religion, law, medicine and the life sciences. His widely acclaimed first book, Divine Variations (Stanford University Press, 2018), winner of the Iris Book Award, details how religion helped produce scientific racism. He is the co-editor of Critical Approaches to Science and Religion (Columbia University Press, 2023). In 2020 Keel became the Founding Director of the BioCritical Studies Lab—an interdisciplinary space that combines life science research, the best of data science, and the wisdom of the humanities to explain how discrimination, inequality, and resilience are embodied in humans and the societies we design. He also serves as the Advisor for Structural Competency and Innovation for the UCLA Simulation Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine.


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), 201-218


“A Roundtable Discussion on Collecting Demographics Data” Projit Bihari Mukharji, Myrna Perez Sheldon, Elise K. Burton, Sebastián Gil-Riaño, Terence Keel, Emily Merchant, Wangui Muigai, Ahmed Ragab, and Suman Seth Isis 2020 111:2, 310-353

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