Subjectivity

Offerings from African Diasporic Religious Ethnography

Authors

  • N Fadeke Castor Northeastern University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.22605

Keywords:

subjectivity/subjectivities, inter-subjectivity/inter-subjectivities, African Diasporic religion, ethnography, Trinidad, Yoruba religion, orisha, Oshun

Abstract

This article focuses on subjectivity in the ethnography of religion by considering the multiplicity of subjectivity and their relationalities, drawing from the author’s ethnographic encounter with the orisha Oshun in Trinidad. This reflection on the implications of taking seriously the spectral or spirit, in their many forms and aspects, as active agents involves the expansion of subjectivity and the relational aspects of inter-subjectivity from the singular to the multiple. Written from a purposefully provocative compound subject position of “I/we”, this article asks that ethnographers of religion grapple with the offerings of ontologies outside the Western “normative” intellectual tradition. I/we offer that this shift will impact our engagements with the people and communities that we work with, expanding our capacity to share multiple worlds and our ability to engage numerous theorizations.

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Author Biography

N Fadeke Castor, Northeastern University

N. Fadeke Castor is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Northeastern University. She is an African Diaspora and Caribbean Studies scholar, a Black feminist ethnographer, and the award-winning author of Spiritual Citizenship: Transnational Pathways from Black Power to Ifá in Trinidad (Duke University Press, 2017). Her new project focuses on the Black radical tradition, liberation, and sacred imaginaries in African diasporic religious communities.

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Further Reading

Biehl, João, Byron Good and Arthur Kleinman 2007 Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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Published

2022-05-19

How to Cite

Castor, N. F. (2022). Subjectivity: Offerings from African Diasporic Religious Ethnography. Fieldwork in Religion, 17(1), 72–83. https://doi.org/10.1558/firn.22605