On Death, Mourning, and African Diaspora Religions in Contemporary Hispanophone Caribbean Literature and Culture
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Hernandez-Acosta, Adrian Emmanuel
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CitationHernandez-Acosta, Adrian Emmanuel. 2021. On Death, Mourning, and African Diaspora Religions in Contemporary Hispanophone Caribbean Literature and Culture. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
AbstractThis dissertation brings Black and Caribbeanist literary studies together with religious studies of African diaspora religions to examine how representations of African diaspora religious practices in Hispanophone Caribbean literature deepen our understanding of the vital role played by mourning in formations of race, gender, and sexuality. It develops “mortuary poetics” as an analytic category under which to examine representations of African diaspora religious practices in scenes of death and mourning within narrative, cinema, visual art, and poetry from the mid-twentieth century to the present.
This dissertation contends that discourses and practices of resistance, recuperation, and reimagination, which frame appeals to African diaspora religions in Hispanophone Caribbean literature, are inextricably bound up with mourning. Representations of spirit séances, ritual rebirths, and apostrophic address to divine forces in scenes following the death of a loved one seek to circumvent social and psychic losses sustained within structures of power that disproportionately affect racialized, feminine, queer, and trans persons; and yet, such representations contend with the material loss of radically singular embodiment for which there is no resurrection. By attending to the particularities of embodied mourning in artistic representations, this dissertation contributes more broadly to theories of racial, gendered, and sexual psychic life. It also contributes to philosophies of racial, gendered, and sexual history in conversation with Black studies, Caribbean and Latin American studies, queer studies, and trans studies.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37368464
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