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Institute of Contemporary Art Miami

Elizabeth Pérez and Stephan Palmié: Afro-Cuban Food for Thought: History, Ritual and Art

Aug 13 – 16, 2024
Summer Intensive 2024: Afro-Cuba: Contemporary Art and Ritual

Taught by a religious studies scholar (Elizabeth Pérez) and a sociocultural anthropologist (Stephan Palmié) with ample experience researching Afro-Cuban religious formations, this seminar seeks to explore the complex history, multifaceted nature, and aesthetics of Afro-Cuban ritual traditions that have experienced rapid globalization in the past seven decades. We do so in part through a culinary lens that has served us well, if in different ways: Pérez’s Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black Atlantic Traditions (2016) as well as The Gut: A Black Atlantic Alimentary Tract (2022) present ethnographic accounts of sacrificial labor and gut feeling, while Palmié’s The Cooking of History (2013) and Thinking With Ngangas (2023) harness Fernando Ortiz’s classic notion of “the cooking of history” to the analysis of African origins and New World creativity in the emergence and history of what we, today, have come to know as Afro-Cuban religions. In the final public events, Palmié will give a lecture on the 70th anniversary and first English translation of Lydia Cabrera’s El monte, and Pérez will explore depictions of the deities called orishas in contemporary Afro-Cuban art.

Schedule
  • Seminar

    Tue, Aug 13, 2024
    1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Seminar

    Wed, Aug 14, 2024
    1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Seminar

    Thu, Aug 15, 2024
    1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Public Talk (Symposium)

    Fri, Aug 16, 2024
    12:00 pm to 3:30 pm
About Stephan Palmié

Stephan Palmié (Dr. Phil, University of Munich 1989; Habilitation, University of Munich 1999) is the Edna and Norman Freehling Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Das Exil der Götter: Geschichte und Vorstellungswelt einer afrokubanischen Religion (1991), Wizards and Scientists: Explorations in Afro-Cuban Modernity and Tradition (2002), The Cooking of History: How Not to Study Afro-Cuban Religion (2013), and Thinking with Ngangas: What Afro-Cuban Ritual Can Tell Us about Scientific Praxis – and Vice Versa (2023) as well as the editor of several volumes on Caribbean and Afro-Atlantic anthropology and history.

About Elizabeth Pérez

Elizabeth Pérez (Ph.D., University of Chicago Divinity School, 2010) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her first book, Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black Atlantic Traditions (New York University Press, 2016), received the 2017 Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion and Honorable Mention for the Caribbean Studies Association’s 2019 Barbara T. Christian Literary Award. In 2022, she was awarded the LGBTQ-RAN (Religious Archives Network) Educational Resource Prize. Her second book, The Gut: A Black Atlantic Alimentary Tract (Cambridge University Press, 2023), was recognized earlier this year with the American Folklore Society’s first annual Leonard Norman Primiano Book Prize on Vernacular Catholicism.

Semester
Aug 13 – 16, 2024
Summer Intensive 2024: Afro-Cuba: Contemporary Art and Ritual