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Aisha Khan
New York University (New York, NY 10012-1019)
Obeah and Hosay: Two Religions of the Caribbean Region

A book-length comparative study of two of the Caribbean's most understudied religions--Obeah and Hosay.

My project is a study of the intersections of religious and racial identities through comparative analysis of Obeah and Hosay, two of the Caribbean region’s defining yet understudied religions. My approach is an ethnographic one that draws on the phenomenological tradition. Although Obeah and Hosay are diverse in their beliefs and in their practitioners, they are often treated more categorically, based on their respective African and Indian origins. My project probes assumptions about the inevitable tensions of religious and racial difference in the Caribbean by exploring lived experience filtered through western Enlightenment conceptualizations of religion and race across Caribbean-Atlantic space and colonial and postcolonial time. Inquiring into the relationship between interpretive categories of religion and race, their modes of practice, and the power relations that form their contexts allows better understanding of identities, conflict and governance, and heritage in the Americas.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Cultural Anthropology; Interdisciplinary Studies, Other; Nonwestern Religion

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018