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Stephan Palmié

The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion

Friday, February 21, 2014, 3:30-5:30pm

Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory, Wilder House

The Cooking of History analyses the assumptions underlying the term ‘Afro-Cuban religion’ and shows how anthropologists, by relying on the notion of a hypothetical African past—and by authenticating religions via their own findings—have exerted considerable influence upon contemporary practices. Palmié goes on to critique widespread and damaging simplifications that posit religious practices as stable and self-contained, and calls for a drastic new approach that properly situates cultural origins within the complex social environments and scholarly fields in which they are investigated.

Palmié will be introduced by Shannon Lee Dawdy (Anthropology, UChicago). Margaret Mitchell (Divinity, UChicago) will serve as discussant.

Stephan Palmié is Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences in the College at the University of Chicago.

A free copy of the book will be made available to the first 15 students to register for this event.