Power and Performance in the Afro-Atlantic World|
Spring 2009 not offered
ANTH 320, RELI 471, AFAM 319|
Traditions of witchcraft and sorcery in the Afro-Atlantic world have been dismissed as backward, superstitious practices incompatible with modernization. As the atavistic remnants of an archaic past, so the argument goes, these practices were supposed to have faded away with modern advances in technology, education, and economic development. Yet, there is convincing evidence to suggest just the opposite--that is, witchcraft and sorcery in the Afro-Atlantic world have been more a response to modern exigencies than the lingering cultural vestiges of a bygone era. This seminar will critically examine the modernity of witchcraft and sorcery in the Afro-Atlantic world. We will look at how both the historical experience associated with slavery and colonialism are refracted through magical and ritual imagery and the ways in which these spectral, yet embodied histories continue to shape how these communities interpret and react to global economic forces and the circulation of hidden forms of power-knowledge.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ANTH)(LAST)(RELI)
MODERNITY AND ITS MALCONTENTS: RITUAL AND POWER IN POSTCOLONIAL AFRICA, Jean and John Comaroff;
THE MODERNITY OF WITCHCRAFT: POLITICS AND THE OCCULT IN POSTCOLONIAL AFRICA, Peter Geschiere;
KUPILIKULA: GOVERNANCE AND THE INVISIBLE REALM IN MOZAMBIQUE, Harry West;
IN THE SHADOW OF THE ORACLE: RELIGION AS POLITICS IN A SURINAME MAROON SOCIETY, Thoden van Velzen;
MIGRATION AND VODOU, Karen Richman;
THE MAGIC OF THE STATE, Michael Taussig
|Examination and Assignments: |
Two 5-page papers, mid-term exam, and final exam.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
No absences/attendance required.
This course fulfills the "Religion in Society" requirement for the Religion Department major.