Lecture on kinship, paternity and fatherhood in Dominica, May 23


When ‘Blood Speaks’: Naming the Father and the ‘mystics’ of Kinship in Dominica, Lesser Antilles

May 23, 2018 05:30 PM

UCL Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PN

May 23 2018 | 17:30

Dr. Adom Heron (Goldsmiths) –  In Dominica they say that ‘blood speaks’ – it has an uncanny way of revealing relatedness between unknown kin. In this paper I posit ‘the problem of paternity’ (paternity’s inherent putativity) as an age old problematic in anthropology and suggest a social solution from the Antilles. I argue that ‘blood speaks’ – via sympathetic pregnancies and other ‘mystic’ bodily experiences – to assign and re-assign fatherhood throughout the reproductive life-course. Herein, I show how Dominican fathers, oft maligned as absent or marginal family appendages, are intimately drawn into reproduction by subtle spiritual forces.

Dr. Adom Heron is a lecturer in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths University, London. His PhD research (2017, Anthropology, St Andrews) followed the kinship lives of men – as fathers, grandfathers, lovers and step-fathers in Dominica, Eastern Caribbean. He curates a blog on this theme – http://fathermen.blogspot.com.

Post-doctorally Dr. Heron is embarking on a project that explores Caribbean inter-generational responses to hurricanes in the age of anthropogenic climate change.

Attendance to this event is free but registration is requiredIMPORTANT NOTE ON ACCESS TO 51 GORDON SQUARE: in order to ensure a smooth delivery of the lecture and for ease of logistics, access to the building may be restricted after the start of the event. We will endeavour to accommodate late arrivals within reason, but an early arrival is recommended to avoid disappointment. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Our thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.

image: Detail of the mural at Soufrière Church, Dominica, by Lennox Honychurch


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