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The Sacred Act of Reading: Spirituality, Performance, and Power in Afro-Diasporic Literature

âThe Sacred Act of Reading: Spirituality, Performance, and Power in Afro-Diasporic Literatureâ studies depictions of religious phenomena in multi-genre texts from across the Americas. Literary engagement with the philosophies and practices of religious and spiritual traditions including Vodou, Kumina, Myal, and Protestant Christianity provide insight into the complex relationships of power that suffuse these literary works. By concentrating on these spiritual practices in the Americas, "The Sacred Act of Reading" affirms the intricate and complex interchange of Afro-diasporic persons, ideas, and discourse across the western hemisphere. The literature studied in this project use religious paradigms to illuminate the physical and metaphysical effects of historical and contemporary systems of socio-political power including slavery, colonialism, and capitalism. By incorporating Euro-centric and African-derived epistemologies throughout this projectâs literary analyses, âThe Sacred Act of Readingâ finds that meaning is always intimately connected to assumptions about authority, recognized subjectivity, and the valuing of human experience. This project adopts an interpretive methodology of âperformative textual hermeneutics,â which focuses on the multi-sensory experiences of textual interpretation and creation. Dedicated to âlisteningâ to the wisdom of these literary works, this project finds that the actions and belief systems of readers and audiences are inevitably called into question when exploring the spiritual elements of power.
Date26 July 2016
CreatorsCastro, Anne Margaret
ContributorsVera Kutzinski, Ifeoma Nwankwo, Hortense Spillers, Marzia Milazzo, Victor Anderson
Source SetsVanderbilt University Theses
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightsrestricted, I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Vanderbilt University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.

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