Santería Copresence and the Making of African Diaspora Bodies: Supplemental Material

This post builds on the research article “Santería Copresence and the Making of African Diaspora Bodies,” which was published in the August 2014 issue of the Society’s peer-reviewed journal, Cultural Anthropology.

Editorial Footnote

Cultural Anthropology has published numerous articles exploring the intersections of race, religion, media, transnational Cuba, and African diaspora. Recent articles include Amanda Concha-Holmes’s “Cuban Cabildos, Cultural Politics, and Cultivating a Transnational Yoruba Citizenry” (2013); Todd Ramon Ochoa’s "Versions of the Dead: Kalunga, Cuban-Kongo Materiality, and Ethnography" (2007) and “Prendas-Ngangas-Enquisos: Turbulence and the Influence of the Dead in Cuban Kongo Material Culture” (2010); and Kaifa Roland’s “T/racing Belong through Cuban Tourism” (2013).

Cultural Anthropology has also published articles about embodiment, religion and the senses, including Josh Brahinsky's "Pentecostal Body Logics: Cultivating a Modern Sensorium" (2012); Thomas Csordas's "Somatic Modes of Attention" (1993); and Saba Mahmood's "Feminist Theory, Embodiment, and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival" (2001).

See also the curated collections on “Affect, Embodiment, and Sense Perception” and “Ritual."

About the Author

Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús is an associate professor of African American religions at the Harvard Divinity School. A cultural and social anthropologist, Dr. Beliso-De Jesús has conducted multi-sited ethnographic field research with Santería practitioners since 2004 in Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, and Miami, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where she studied travel, religious tourism, and the uses, practices, circulation, and consumption of religious media. Her research and publications focus on issues of race, gender, and sexuality within African diaspora practices using a transnational feminist approach. Her book, Electric Orisha: Race, Media and Travel in Transnational Santería is forthcoming with Columbia University Press. Dr. Beliso-De Jesús is also a member of the Cuba Policy Committee at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, a faculty associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, and a Ford Foundation Fellow.

Alfredo Calvo and family, shortly before his death in 2011. Photo by the author.

Other Works by the Author

2013. “Religious Cosmopolitanisms: Media, Transnational Santería, and Travel between the United States and Cuba.” American Ethnologist 40, no. 4: 704–20.

2013. “Yemayá’s Duck: Irony, Ambivalence, and the Effeminate Male Subject in Cuban Santería.” In Yemoja: Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in the Latina/o and Afro-Atlantic Diasporas, edited by Solimar Otero and Toyin Falola. Albany: SUNY Press.