Gender, Sexuality, and Creativity in the Latina/o and Afro-Atlantic Diasporas

Edited by Solimar Otero & Toyin Falola

Subjects: Religion, Gender Studies, Latin American Studies, African American Studies, Art
Paperback : 9781438448008, 336 pages, July 2014
Hardcover : 9781438447995, 336 pages, November 2013

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations and Other Media
Note on Terminology and Orthography
Introduction: Introducing Yemoja
Solimar Otero and Toyin Falola
Part 1. Yemoja, Gender, and Sexuality
Invocación / Invocation En busca de un amnte desempleado / Searching for an unemployed lover
Pedro R. Pérez-Sarduy
1. Nobody’s Mammy: Yemayá as Fierce Foremother in Afro-Cuban Religions
Elizabeth Pérez
2. Yemayá’s Duck: Irony, Ambivalence, and the Effeminate Male Subject in Cuban Santería
Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús
3. Yemayá y Ochún: Queering the Vernacular Logics of the Waters
Solimar Otero
4. A Different Kind of Sweetness: Yemayá in Afro-Cuban Religion
Martin Tsang
5. Yemoja: An Introduction to the Divine Mother and Water Goddess
Allison P. Sellers
Part 2. Yemoja’s Aesthetics: Creative Expression in Diaspora
6. “Yemaya Blew That Wire Fence Down”: Invoking African Spiritualties in Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza and the Mural Art of Juana Alicia
Micaela Díaz-Sánchez
7. Dancing Aché with Yemaya in My Life and in My Art: An Artist Statement
Arturo Lindsay
8. What the Water Brings and Takes Away: The Work of Marìa Magdalena Campos Pons
Alan West-Durán
9. “The Sea Never Dies”: Yemoja: The Infinitely Flowing Mother Force of Africana Literature and Cinema
Teresa N. Washington
10. A Sonic Portrait with Photos of Salvador’s Iemanjá Festival
Jamie N. Davidson and Nelson Eubanks
11. Yemaya Offering a Pearl of Wisdom: An Artist Statement
Erin Dean Colcord
Notes on Contributors

Bridges theory, art, and practice to discuss emerging issues in transnational religious movements in Latina/o and African diasporas.


Finalist for the 2014 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions presented by the Journal of Africana Religions

This is the first collection of essays to analyze intersectional religious and cultural practices surrounding the deity Yemoja. In Afro-Atlantic traditions, Yemoja is associated with motherhood, women, the arts, and the family. This book reveals how Yemoja traditions are negotiating gender, sexuality, and cultural identities in bold ways that emphasize the shifting beliefs and cultural practices of contemporary times. Contributors come from a wide range of fields—religious studies, art history, literature, and anthropology—and focus on the central concern of how different religious communities explore issues of race, gender, and sexuality through religious practice and discourse. The volume adds the voices of religious practitioners and artists to those of scholars to engage in conversations about how Latino/a and African diaspora religions respond creatively to a history of colonization.

Solimar Otero is Associate Professor of English and Folklore at Louisiana State University and author of Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World. Toyin Falola is Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor in History at the University of Texas at Austin. His many books include Culture and Customs of Libya (coauthored with Jason Morgan and Bukola Adeyemi Oyeniyi); Women's Roles in Sub-Saharan Africa (coauthored with Nana Akua Amponsah); and Africa After Fifty Years: Retrospections and Reflections (coedited with Maurice Amutabi and Sylvester Gundona).