While considerable research has been conducted on African Diaspora religions, relatively little scholarship addresses Revival Zion — an indigenized and contested African-heritage form of Christianity practiced within Jamaica and Panama and among their diasporas. Revivalists self-identify as Christians, but they also acknowledge a world of spirits and practices that are primarily African-derived, but also multiethnic. This talk explores how Revival practitioners craft transnational sensory networks and become spiritual travelers through the ritual of journeying. Journeying is an important experiential, epistemic and somatic practice that complicates the social constructions of gender and sexuality and race, along with notions of citizenship, nationality and belonging. The talk argues for a queering of the senses through Revival nationhood in ways that defy Aristotelian naturalistic sense hierarchies. These sensory dynamisms make space for a variety of subjectivities and orientations, thereby fostering forms of belonging and intimacies that do not rest on traditional notions of territory and relationality.
Khytie K. Brown
Khytie Brown is an ethnographer and scholar of African diaspora religions and African and African American studies. Her research broadly examines the intersections of religion, race, gender and sexual alterity, criminality and social media practices among African diasporic religious practitioners in the Caribbean, Latin America and North America.
Khytie holds a Ph.D. in African and African American studies from Harvard University. She received a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) from Harvard Divinity School in 2013, with a Religion and the Social Sciences area concentration, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University in sociology and religion. Her work has been funded by awards and fellowships including from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Global Religion Research Initiative at the University of Notre Dame and The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.
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While the University offers events via virtual formats, workshops will be conducted in a colloquium format, with speakers presenting work in progress, and discussion responding to the research presented in that session. Papers will not be distributed.