HDS 2736

Witchcraft, Rituals and Colonialism

Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús


This course will explore the coming together of ideas on witchcraft and rituality as discourses and practices of power, gender, race and sexuality in colonial and imperial moments. We will examine history, literature, films and social theory dealing with different forms of self-identified and interpellated forms of "witchcraft" such as questions of sorcery, brujeria, shamanism, voodoo/hoodoo and santeria/palo--all as complex and multivalent sites of productive power. We will look at how discourses and experiences marked and claimed "witchcraft" intersect with ideas and practices of rituals in the everyday lives and perceptions of colonial, postcolonial, national and transnational subjects in different locations. Students will take into consideration these questions in relation to broader topics such as colonialism/postcolonialism, imperialisms and transnationalisms, as well as within critiques of modernisms versus traditionalisms. This course will specifically focus on Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and African diasporic contexts.

Enrollment Limited: Limited to 20 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Jointly offered as AAAS 104


0.50 credits
Spring 2014
Thurs 12pm-2pm
Divinity Hall Room 211

Relationship to Program Requirements

Program Requirement Area / Category / Art / Designation
MTS Area(s) of Focus
  • African and African American Religious Studies
  • Religions of the Americas
  • Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion
MDiv Distribution Category/ies
  • African Religions
MDiv Art(s) of Ministry None
Language Course Designation(s) None