“Spiritual Citizenship in Action: African Spirits & Social Justice” Fadeke Castor

Time: 12:00 to 1:15 PM
Location: 310 Renaissance Park, Northeastern University
Sponsored By: Philosophy and Religion Department, Program in African and African-American Studies
Contact: Katie Molongoski

Fadeke Castor, Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department and Africana Studies Program at Texas A&M University

 Drawing from her book, Spiritual Citizenship: Transnational Pathways from Black Power to Ifá in Trinidad (Duke UP, 2017), Fadeke Castor examines the role that transnational Black Liberation movements play in the development of what she coins as “spiritual citizenship.” Specifically, she draws out how African diasporic religions address the contemporary political urgency to work for social justice and human rights, especially in communities of color. Fadeke Castor argues that African diasporic religions can be understood as their own social justice responses, organized across transnational communities. Informed by ethnographic research conducted over two decades in Trinidad, Castor explores the transnational intersection of African diaspora religions and black liberation. This is grounded in her findings that the 1970s Black Power in Trinidad set the stage for Ifá/Orisha practices as a performance of spirit work that moves across diasporic communities, from Trinidad to Nigeria to the US. This project foreshadows her current project, “Black Spirits Matter,” where she explores how people in the US and Nigeria employ a praxis of spiritual citizenship in action-organizing on the streets, in the community, and within social media-towards freedom, equality, and social justice.

Dr. N. Fadeke Castor is a Black Feminist anthropologist, and African Diaspora Studies scholar who has taught at Williams College, and Duke 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 grants from Fulbright- Hays and the Wenner-Gren Foundation. Her current research and teaching interests include religion, performance, social identities (esp. race, gender, class), citizen, identity and representation in popular/ public culture and decolonization in the African Diaspora (specifically in the Caribbean and West Africa).

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