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Wicked Souls and Bodies: Evil Spirits, Sexuality, Gender, and Violence in the Lore of the African Diaspora

While the African diaspora generally describes the dispersal(s) of African-descended peoples throughout the world from modernity to the present, it demands the sighting of various contexts, causes, results, and memories.  This symposium’s focus on the African diaspora as articulated a transatlantic contexts provides a platform that underscores diversity and the human condition in a national and transnational manner. The cultural, linguistic, ethnic/racial, and generational dynamics of the Black Atlantic provide a fruitful intellectual context for exploring the roles of problematic acts of agency in oppressive spaces.

This mini-symposium examines folktales and folktale-like stories as sites of both abjection and healing.  This symposium will study stories that illustrate how individuals protect their identity and bodily integrity. We will discover how storytellers from the Americas have responded to the effect of colonization and colonialism through oral and literary works that underscore the cultural and psychological characteristics as well as the resilience of their communities. Presenters will examine the carnal violence and brutality associated with sex and gender in folktales and fairytales from the Americas. In so doing, this mini-symposium will put European and African folklore in conversation with the New World’s oral and literary traditions. For instance, in French Caribbean lore, whenever one speaks about evil spirits, one speaks about pacts with the devil and magical practices for white or black magic. Syncretic re-appropriations of Catholicism are often at the heart of measures taken against evil practices. In addition, the nocturnal violation of female bodies by male evil spirits (incubi) resembles the supernatural assault tradition called cauchemar or witch-riding in southwest Louisiana. The Caribbean vampire is often an old woman (a soucougnant or soucouyant) who, at night, sucks people's blood seeking vital energy and, in so doing, recalling the West African witch. Moreover, the consequences of sexual violence do not spare men either.  In French Caribbean folklore, the diablesse (She-devil) often eats men’s hearts while succubi (or other devil spawns) petrify them to death. The dialogues between the various spaces are intriguing to say the least.

Date: 
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: 
Fine Arts Library, Study Room 1

Wicked Souls and Bodies: Evil Spirits, Sexuality, Gender, and Violence in the Lore of the African Diaspora

While the African diaspora generally describes the dispersal(s) of African-descended peoples throughout the world from modernity to the present, it demands the sighting of various contexts, causes, results, and memories.  This symposium’s focus on the African diaspora as articulated a transatlantic contexts provides a platform that underscores diversity and the human condition in a national and transnational manner. The cultural, linguistic, ethnic/racial, and generational dynamics of the Black Atlantic provide a fruitful intellectual context for exploring the roles of problematic acts of agency in oppressive spaces.

This mini-symposium examines folktales and folktale-like stories as sites of both abjection and healing.  This symposium will study stories that illustrate how individuals protect their identity and bodily integrity. We will discover how storytellers from the Americas have responded to the effect of colonization and colonialism through oral and literary works that underscore the cultural and psychological characteristics as well as the resilience of their communities. Presenters will examine the carnal violence and brutality associated with sex and gender in folktales and fairytales from the Americas. In so doing, this mini-symposium will put European and African folklore in conversation with the New World’s oral and literary traditions. For instance, in French Caribbean lore, whenever one speaks about evil spirits, one speaks about pacts with the devil and magical practices for white or black magic. Syncretic re-appropriations of Catholicism are often at the heart of measures taken against evil practices. In addition, the nocturnal violation of female bodies by male evil spirits (incubi) resembles the supernatural assault tradition called cauchemar or witch-riding in southwest Louisiana. The Caribbean vampire is often an old woman (a soucougnant or soucouyant) who, at night, sucks people's blood seeking vital energy and, in so doing, recalling the West African witch. Moreover, the consequences of sexual violence do not spare men either.  In French Caribbean folklore, the diablesse (She-devil) often eats men’s hearts while succubi (or other devil spawns) petrify them to death. The dialogues between the various spaces are intriguing to say the least.

Date: 
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: 
Fine Arts Library, Study Room 1

Wicked Souls and Bodies: Evil Spirits, Sexuality, Gender, and Violence in the Lore of the African Diaspora

While the African diaspora generally describes the dispersal(s) of African-descended peoples throughout the world from modernity to the present, it demands the sighting of various contexts, causes, results, and memories.  This symposium’s focus on the African diaspora as articulated a transatlantic contexts provides a platform that underscores diversity and the human condition in a national and transnational manner. The cultural, linguistic, ethnic/racial, and generational dynamics of the Black Atlantic provide a fruitful intellectual context for exploring the roles of problematic acts of agency in oppressive spaces.

This mini-symposium examines folktales and folktale-like stories as sites of both abjection and healing.  This symposium will study stories that illustrate how individuals protect their identity and bodily integrity. We will discover how storytellers from the Americas have responded to the effect of colonization and colonialism through oral and literary works that underscore the cultural and psychological characteristics as well as the resilience of their communities. Presenters will examine the carnal violence and brutality associated with sex and gender in folktales and fairytales from the Americas. In so doing, this mini-symposium will put European and African folklore in conversation with the New World’s oral and literary traditions. For instance, in French Caribbean lore, whenever one speaks about evil spirits, one speaks about pacts with the devil and magical practices for white or black magic. Syncretic re-appropriations of Catholicism are often at the heart of measures taken against evil practices. In addition, the nocturnal violation of female bodies by male evil spirits (incubi) resembles the supernatural assault tradition called cauchemar or witch-riding in southwest Louisiana. The Caribbean vampire is often an old woman (a soucougnant or soucouyant) who, at night, sucks people's blood seeking vital energy and, in so doing, recalling the West African witch. Moreover, the consequences of sexual violence do not spare men either.  In French Caribbean folklore, the diablesse (She-devil) often eats men’s hearts while succubi (or other devil spawns) petrify them to death. The dialogues between the various spaces are intriguing to say the least.

Date: 
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: 
Fine Arts Library, Study Room 1

Wicked Souls and Bodies: Evil Spirits, Sexuality, Gender, and Violence in the Lore of the African Diaspora

While the African diaspora generally describes the dispersal(s) of African-descended peoples throughout the world from modernity to the present, it demands the sighting of various contexts, causes, results, and memories.  This symposium’s focus on the African diaspora as articulated a transatlantic contexts provides a platform that underscores diversity and the human condition in a national and transnational manner. The cultural, linguistic, ethnic/racial, and generational dynamics of the Black Atlantic provide a fruitful intellectual context for exploring the roles of problematic acts of agency in oppressive spaces.

This mini-symposium examines folktales and folktale-like stories as sites of both abjection and healing.  This symposium will study stories that illustrate how individuals protect their identity and bodily integrity. We will discover how storytellers from the Americas have responded to the effect of colonization and colonialism through oral and literary works that underscore the cultural and psychological characteristics as well as the resilience of their communities. Presenters will examine the carnal violence and brutality associated with sex and gender in folktales and fairytales from the Americas. In so doing, this mini-symposium will put European and African folklore in conversation with the New World’s oral and literary traditions. For instance, in French Caribbean lore, whenever one speaks about evil spirits, one speaks about pacts with the devil and magical practices for white or black magic. Syncretic re-appropriations of Catholicism are often at the heart of measures taken against evil practices. In addition, the nocturnal violation of female bodies by male evil spirits (incubi) resembles the supernatural assault tradition called cauchemar or witch-riding in southwest Louisiana. The Caribbean vampire is often an old woman (a soucougnant or soucouyant) who, at night, sucks people's blood seeking vital energy and, in so doing, recalling the West African witch. Moreover, the consequences of sexual violence do not spare men either.  In French Caribbean folklore, the diablesse (She-devil) often eats men’s hearts while succubi (or other devil spawns) petrify them to death. The dialogues between the various spaces are intriguing to say the least.

Date: 
Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: 
Fine Arts Library, Study Room 1

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