Lecture: ‘Electric Santeria’ by Aisha Beliso-De Jesús, Feb. 25 [A post by Peter Jordens]
SBS Dean’s Distinguished Lecture in Latino and Caribbean Studies
Electric Santeria at Rutgers: Book discussion with Aisha Beliso-De Jesús (Harvard Divinity School)
Organized by the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies, Rutgers University
Thursday, February 25, 2016, 4:00 – 6:30pm
Scholarly Communications Center, Teleconference Lecture Hall, Fourth Floor, Alexander Library
169 College Ave, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Rutgers University Libraries welcome Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, associate professor of African religions, Harvard Divinity School, to Alexander Library for the Social and Behavioral Sciences 2016 Dean’s Distinguished Lectureship Keynote in Latino and Caribbean Studies.
Santería is an African-inspired, Cuban diaspora religion long stigmatized as witchcraft and often dismissed as superstition, yet its spirit- and possession-based practices are rapidly winning adherents across the world. Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús introduces the term “copresence” to capture the current transnational experience of Santería, in which racialized and gendered spirits, deities, priests, and religious travelers remake local, national, and political boundaries and reconfigure notions of technology and transnationalism, and draws on eight years of ethnographic research in Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, and in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area to trace the phenomenon in the lives of Santería practitioners.
Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús, PhD is Associate Professor of African American Religions at Harvard Divinity School. A cultural and social anthropologist, Dr. Beliso-De Jesús has conducted ethnographic research with Santería practitioners in Cuba and the United States since 2003. Her book, Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion (Columbia University Press, 2015) details the transnational experience of Santería, in which racialized and gendered spirits, deities, priests, and religious travelers remake local, national, and political boundaries and actively reconfigure notions of technology and transnationalism.