Wednesday, October 11, 2006

[Wadabo_updates] Lecture-Demonstrations on Africa & the Diaspora

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Dear African Dance & Drum Community,

The following lectures on African and Diaspora cultures are being held:
1 - 10/11 - The Image of Cuba in Cinema (Cuba)-
2 - 10/12 - Embodying the Divine: Gender and Politics of Oricha Possesion Performance (Cuba & Haiti) -
3 - 10/16 - Themes in the Ekpe / Abakua Continuum (Nigeria/Cameroon/Cuba)
 1- The Image of Cuba in Cinema: The Making of a Canon
*Wednesday, October 11th 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm* 
Location: David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies,
CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, Seminar Room S-250.
Rafael Hernández, Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor  
in Latin American Studies,
DRCLAS;Senior Research Fellow, Centro de
Investigación y Desarrollo de la Cultura Cubana Juan Marinello;
Professor of Internacional Relations, Universidad de la Habana.
A light dinner and refreshments will be served.
2 - "Embodying the Divine: Gender and the Politics  
of Oricha Possession Performance"
Dr. Katherine J. Hagedorn

Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School
42 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 (617) 495-4495

This lecture is about the process of possession performance in
Cuban Ocha (also known as Santería),
and how sociological and theological constructs encourage a gendered understanding of it.  
The lecture will also consider possession performance in Haitian Vodou as a comparison.  
Brief examples from both the Cuban and Haitian liturgies
will be performed toward the end of the lecture.
Dancers: Paritck Caskey and Darya Marusa Pinton.
3 - Boston University African Studies Center
The 27th Walter Rodney Seminar Series (2006-2007) 
All seminars are held on Mondays, from 12:00 noon to 1:30 p.m. William O. Brown
Seminar Room (416), African Studies Center, 270 Bay State Road 
October 16: Ivor Miller (Hampshire College)
"Themes in the Ekpe/ Abakuá Continuum"
In the early 19th century, Africans in Cuba created the Abakuá mutual aid society on the model of the  
Ékpè leopard society of West Africa's Cross River basin (Old Calabar).
This is clear not only from oral history, but from the fact that Abakuá material and
intellectual culture (dance masks, temple designs, drum construction, musical patterns,
chanted texts) are obviously similar to their Ékpè counterparts.
Also transmitted was a form of political organization in autonomous lodges with multiple
functionaries or membership grades--a system which had enabled long distance trade in
Africa despite the absence of territorial states, and which fostered social autonomy in Cuba.
Abakuá ritual language comprises thousands of chants containing phrases of Èfìk, a pre-colonial
lingua franca. In the past century, Cuban migrants to the United States have performed in the
context of American jazz music and made commercial recordings in Abakuá style, with coded
lyrics recalling specific West African places and events. In ongoing dialogues between Ekpe and
Abakuá members on both sides of the Atlantic, peoples scattered by slavery are reconstructing
their past and shaping their future.
For more info, see:

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