Two events at CLACS

Two events this week at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU:

Neoliberal Multiculturalism and the Paradox of Radical Refusal, Charles Hale
Monday, September 26th, 2011


Book launch of “Creole Religions of the Caribbean”
Margarite Fernández Olmos, Joseph Murphy, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert
Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Neoliberal Multiculturalism and the Paradox of Radical Refusal
Charles R. Hale
Monday, September 26th, 2011
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Auditorium of King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
53 Washington Square South
New York University, New York, NY 10012 (map)

Discussant: Sinclair Thompson

ABSTRACT: Over the past two decades, regimes of neoliberal multiculturalism in Latin America have presented skeptical subjects of multicultural rights with a central dilemma: struggle from within versus radical refusal. Now that this era is coming to an end, sustained assessment of this dilemma could be especially illuminating. This paper offers such an assessment, with an ethnographic focus on indigenous struggles for territory, and a theoretical focus that puts racial formation approaches in critical dialogue with those that foreground the “coloniality of power.” My analysis revolves around the following paradox: radical refusal has been crucial in opening the space that makes the struggle from within viable, yet the effectiveness of this struggle from within is predicated on the protagonists’ explicit distancing from the politics of radical refusal, in both discourse and practice. Finding ways to overcome the crippling effects of this paradox, I argue, will be especially crucial as we begin a new round of strategic thinking, in response to challenges of the coming era, when neoliberal multiculturalism gives way to a successor regime.

Charles R. Hale is Professor in the departments of Anthropology and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas, Austin.

Second event:

Book launch of “Creole Religions of the Caribbean”
Margarite Fernández Olmos, Joseph Murphy, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert
Thursday, September 29th, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Great Room of 19 University Place
New York University, New York, NY 10003 (map)

Creolization—the coming together of diverse beliefs and practices to form new beliefs and practices—is one of the most significant phenomena in Caribbean religious history. Brought together in the crucible of the sugar plantation, Caribbean peoples drew on the variants of Christianity brought by European colonizers, as well as on African religious and healing traditions and the remnants of Amerindian practices, to fashion new systems of belief. Creole Religions of the Caribbean offers a comprehensive introduction to the syncretic religions that have developed in the region. From Vodou, Santería, Regla de Palo, the Abakuá Secret Society, and Obeah to Quimbois and Espiritismo, the volume traces the historical–cultural origins of the major Creole religions, as well as the newer traditions such as Pocomania and Rastafarianism. This second edition updates the scholarship on the religions themselves and also expands the regional considerations of the Diaspora to the U. S. Latino community who are influenced by Creole spiritual practices. Fernández Olmos and Paravisini–Gebert also take into account the increased significance of material culture—art, music, literature—and healing practices influenced by Creole religions.

Please join us to celebrate the publication of the second edition of this book by listening to presentations by Margarite Fernández Olmos, Joseph Murphy, and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert.

(Note, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert will also be giving a lecture on October 3rd at the Graduate Center, co-sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and the Caribbean Epistemologies Seminar. More information here.)

Both events are part of the CLACS Fall 2011 Colloquium Series, Contemporary Racisms in the Americas. For more information, visit the CLACS site.