Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing

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9780822351337: Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing
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In Obeah and Other Powers, historians and anthropologists consider how marginalized spiritual traditions—such as obeah, Vodou, and Santería—have been understood and represented across the Caribbean since the seventeenth century. In essays focused on Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Anglophone Caribbean, the contributors explore the fields of power within which Caribbean religions have been produced, modified, appropriated, and policed. The "other powers" of the book's title have helped to shape, or attempted to curtail, Caribbean religions and healing practices. These powers include those of capital and colonialism; of states that criminalize some practices and legitimize others; of occupying armies that rewrite constitutions and reorient economies; of writers, filmmakers, and scholars who represent Caribbean practices both to those with little knowledge of the region and to those who live there; and, not least, of the millions of people in the Caribbean whose relationships with one another, as well as with capital and the state, have long been mediated and experienced through religious formations and discourses.

Contributors
. Kenneth Bilby, Erna Brodber, Alejandra Bronfman, Elizabeth Cooper, Maarit Forde, Stephan Palmié, Diana Paton, Alasdair Pettinger, Lara Putnam, Karen Richman, Raquel Romberg, John Savage, Katherine Smith

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About the Author:

Diana Paton is a Reader in Caribbean history at Newcastle University. She is the author of No Bond but the Law: Punishment, Race, and Gender in Jamaican State Formation, 1780–1870 and editor of A Narrative of Events, since the First of August, 1834, by James Williams, an Apprenticed Labourer in Jamaica and, with Pamela Scully, Gender and Slave Emancipation in the Atlantic World, all also published by Duke University Press.

Maarit Forde is a Lecturer in the Department of Liberal Arts at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.

Review:

Obeah and Other Powers is an excellent and welcome contribution to scholarship on Caribbean religions. Too few works explicitly address the three themes taken up in this collection, the significance of state power in shaping the environment in which Caribbean religions were practiced, the role of practitioners in shaping their religious traditions, and the role of mobility and the permeability of borders in shaping the definition and interpretation of obeah, Vodou, Santería, and Candomblé. This last premise enables the contributors to analyze these religions in conjunction with one another and as overlapping, rather than separate, phenomena.”—Aisha Khan, author of Callaloo Nation: Metaphors of Race and Religious Identity among South Asians in Trinidad

"The contributors to this outstanding collection share the refreshing ambition to historicize local knowledge and to embrace the opacity and persisting mystique of Caribbean spiritual realities—from the colonial occult to enchanted modernities."—Richard Price, author of Travels with Tooy and Rainforest Warriors

“Each and every chapter of Obeah and Other Powers is a gem in its own right, and yet this splendid collection is also much more than simply the sum of its parts. Indeed, the volume achieves an impressive level of sophistication in Caribbeanist historical anthropology and Black Atlantic religious studies, and its release — along with the publication of Jerome Handler and Kenneth Bilby’s Enacting Power — makes 2012 something of a watershed moment in the study of the dynamic and rather unruly set of spiritual beliefs and ritual practices so often glossed as obeah in Afro- Atlantic studies.” (Keith E. McNeal Hispanic American Historical Review)

“A clear introduction and the well-developed, carefully composed chapters redeem the book.... [T]he book offers a great deal. Smith’s chapter would be a welcome addition to a gender and women’s studies classroom. Likewise, Savage’s contribution would work well in a history of medicine course. Putnam’s essay is required reading for students interested in Atlantic history. Finally, Richman’s chapter would fit well in a religious studies course.” (Karol K. Weaver Bulletin of the History of Medicine)

“In bringing together such a strong group of scholars to consider the production and reproduction of Caribbean ritual, spiritual practices, Paton and Forde have made a significant contribution to advancing scholarly understanding of this important subject and indeed to Caribbean history and studies more generally." (Juanita De Barros Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History)

Obeah and Other Powers... is likely to stimulate much interest and debate as scholars continue the difficult task of sifting through hostile representations of Caribbean religious beliefs and practices to better understand those beliefs and practices on their own terms.” (Randy M. Browne History: Reviews of New Books)

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Obeah and Other Powers, historians and anthropologists consider how marginalized spiritual traditions-such as obeah, Vodou, and Santeria-have been understood and represented across the Caribbean since the seventeenth century. In essays focused on Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Anglophone Caribbean, the contributors explore the fields of power within which Caribbean religions have been produced, modified, appropriated, and policed. The other powers of the book s title have helped to shape, or attempted to curtail, Caribbean religions and healing practices. These powers include those of capital and colonialism; of states that criminalize some practices and legitimize others; of occupying armies that rewrite constitutions and reorient economies; of writers, filmmakers, and scholars who represent Caribbean practices both to those with little knowledge of the region and to those who live there; and, not least, of the millions of people in the Caribbean whose relationships with one another, as well as with capital and the state, have long been mediated and experienced through religious formations and discourses.Contributors. Kenneth Bilby, Erna Brodber, Alejandra Bronfman, Elizabeth Cooper, Maarit Forde, Stephan Palmie, Diana Paton, Alasdair Pettinger, Lara Putnam, Karen Richman, Raquel Romberg, John Savage, Katherine Smith. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822351337

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Obeah and Other Powers, historians and anthropologists consider how marginalized spiritual traditions-such as obeah, Vodou, and Santeria-have been understood and represented across the Caribbean since the seventeenth century. In essays focused on Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and the wider Anglophone Caribbean, the contributors explore the fields of power within which Caribbean religions have been produced, modified, appropriated, and policed. The other powers of the book s title have helped to shape, or attempted to curtail, Caribbean religions and healing practices. These powers include those of capital and colonialism; of states that criminalize some practices and legitimize others; of occupying armies that rewrite constitutions and reorient economies; of writers, filmmakers, and scholars who represent Caribbean practices both to those with little knowledge of the region and to those who live there; and, not least, of the millions of people in the Caribbean whose relationships with one another, as well as with capital and the state, have long been mediated and experienced through religious formations and discourses.Contributors. Kenneth Bilby, Erna Brodber, Alejandra Bronfman, Elizabeth Cooper, Maarit Forde, Stephan Palmie, Diana Paton, Alasdair Pettinger, Lara Putnam, Karen Richman, Raquel Romberg, John Savage, Katherine Smith. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822351337

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