College of Liberal Arts

The Spirit of Black Power

Monday Feb 11, 2019 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM | BUR 554

Dr. N. Fadeke Castor is a Black Feminist anthropologist, and African Diaspora Studies scholar who has taught at Williams College, Duke University, and Texas A&M University.  She received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago with a focus on post-colonialism, religion, and race in the Caribbean. Dr. Castor conducted extensive ethnographic research in Trinidad between 1998 and 2012, including three continuous years (2002-5) supported by Fulbright-Hays and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.  Her current research and teaching interests include religion, social justice, performance, social identities (esp. race, gender, class), citizenship, identity and representation in popular/public culture, and decolonization, in the African Diaspora (specifically in the Caribbean and West Africa).

In her written work she explores emerging forms of cultural citizenship with special attention to the performance of decolonizing practices and intersections of identity. Dr. Castor’s book, Spiritual Citizenship: Transnational Pathways from Black Power to Ifá in Trinidad (Duke University Press 2017), argues that the Trinidad Orisha/Ifá religion emerges from black power as central to the development of decolonization practices and cultures. This African-diasporic religion draws from spiritual epistemologies embedded in transnational networks to inform a global spiritual citizenship intimately tied to black liberation. An article from this project, “Shifting multicultural citizenship: Trinidad Orisha opens the road,” has been published in Cultural Anthropology. Her new project, Black Spirits Matter, looks at the intersection of African diasporic religions, social justice, gender and performance as an example of spiritual citizenship in action.

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