Vodou in Haiti--Vodou in Hollywood|
Fall 2008 not offered
AFAM 273, AMST 276|
The Afro-Creole religion of the Haitian majority is a complex system of inherited roles and rituals that Afro-Creole people remembered and created during and after plantation slavery. Called "serving the spirits", or "Vodou," this religion and cultural system continues as a spiritual method and family obligation in Haiti and its diaspora and draws constantly on new symbols and ideas. Vodou has also captured the imagination of Hollywood and television, and the entertainment industry has produced numerous films and television episodes, and now computer games, with "Voodoo" themes. This course explores the anthropology of Vodou as a religious practice, and relates it to the cultural studies of North American representations of "Voodoo." We will ask, What constitutes the thought and practice of Haitian Vodou? How is Vodou represented in American media? How can we analyze the patterns and tropes that operate in images of "Voodoo?" We will explore questions of religious ritual, political resistance and orality, secrecy and spectacle, 'authenticity' and commodification, racism, media studies, and the ethics of representation.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (RELI)(SISP-Reli Conc)
Karen McCarthy Brown, MAMA LOLA (Revised edition)
Barbara Browning, INFECTIOUS RHYTHM
William Gibson, NEUROMANCER
Mimi Sheller CONSUMING THE CARIBBEAN: FROM ARAWAKS TO ZOMBIES
I Walked With a Zombie
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly one-page response papers, three 5-7 page papers, and two 7-minute class presentations.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course fulfills the "Thematic Approaches" requirement for the Religion department major.