Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition

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9780822328421: Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition

In Wizards and Scientists Stephan Palmié offers a corrective to the existing historiography on the Caribbean. Focusing on developments in Afro-Cuban religious culture, he demonstrates that traditional Caribbean cultural practices are part and parcel of the same history that produced modernity and that both represent complexly interrelated hybrid formations. Palmié argues that the standard narrative trajectory from tradition to modernity, and from passion to reason, is a violation of the synergistic processes through which historically specific, moral communities develop the cultural forms that integrate them.
Highlighting the ways that Afro-Cuban discourses serve as a means of moral analysis of social action, Palmié suggests that the supposedly irrational premises of Afro-Cuban religious traditions not only rival Western rationality in analytical acumen but are integrally linked to rationality itself. Afro-Cuban religion is as “modern” as nuclear thermodynamics, he claims, just as the Caribbean might be regarded as one of the world’s first truly “modern” locales: based on the appropriation and destruction of human bodies for profit, its plantation export economy anticipated the industrial revolution in the metropolis by more than a century. Working to prove that modernity is not just an aspect of the West, Palmié focuses on those whose physical abuse and intellectual denigration were the price paid for modernity’s achievement. All cultures influenced by the transcontinental Atlantic economy share a legacy of slave commerce. Nevertheless, local forms of moral imagination have developed distinctive yet interrelated responses to this violent past and the contradiction-ridden postcolonial present that can be analyzed as forms of historical and social analysis in their own right.

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From the Publisher:

“Wizards amd Scientists is a tour de force. Palmié’s material is extraordinarily interesting and original and his theoretical explorations are virtuosic. This work will become a new benchmark for scholarship on modernity and the Atlantic world.”—Rosalind Shaw, Tufts University

“Palmié unlocks and explores the fascinating world of oracle and historical divination in loving detail and with unrivalled narrative power. Wizards and Scientists is an extraordinary achievement.”—Robert A. Hill, University of California, Los Angelos

From the Back Cover:

"Palmie unlocks and explores the fascinating world of oracle and historical divination in loving detail and with unrivaled narrative power. "Wizards and Scientists" is an extraordinary achievement."--Robert A. Hill, University of California, Los Angeles

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Book Description 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. In "Wizards and Scientists" Stephan Palmie offers a corrective to the existing historiography on the Caribbean. Focusing on developments in Afro-Cuban religious cult.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 416 pages. 0.640. Bookseller Inventory # 9780822328421

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