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An Intimate Rebuke

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Book Series: Religious Cultures of African and African Diaspora People ISBN: 9781478001201 9781478002635 Year: Language: English
Publisher: Duke University Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 102071
Subject: Ethnology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-08 11:21:03
License: Duke University Press

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Throughout West African societies, at times of social crises, postmenopausal women — the Mothers — make a ritual appeal to their innate moral authority. The seat of this power is the female genitalia. Wielding branches or pestles, they strip naked and slap their genitals and bare breasts to curse and expel the forces of evil. In An Intimate Rebuke Laura S. Grillo draws on fieldwork in Côte d’Ivoire that spans three decades to illustrate how these rituals of Female Genital Power (FGP) constitute religious and political responses to abuses of power. When deployed in secret FGP operates as spiritual warfare against witchcraft; in public it serves as a political activism. During Côte d’Ivoire’s civil wars FGP challenged the immoral forces of both rebels and the state. Grillo shows how the ritual potency of the Mothers’ nudity and the conjuration of their sex embodies a moral power that has been foundational to West African civilization.

Revolution and Disenchantment

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ISBN: 9781478090274 9781478007586 9781478006756 9781478006169 Year: Pages: 280 DOI: 10.1215/9781478090274 Language: English
Publisher: Duke University Press
Subject: History
Added to DOAB on : 2020-03-28 11:21:03
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The Arab Revolutions that began in 2011 reignited interest in the question of theory and practice, imbuing it with a burning political urgency. In Revolution and Disenchantment Fadi A. Bardawil redescribes for our present how an earlier generation of revolutionaries, the 1960s Arab New Left, addressed this question. Bardawil excavates the long-lost archive of the Marxist organization Socialist Lebanon and its main theorist, Waddah Charara, who articulated answers in their political practice to fundamental issues confronting revolutionaries worldwide: intellectuals as vectors of revolutionary theory; political organizations as mediators of theory and praxis; and nonemancipatory attachments as impediments to revolutionary practice. Drawing on historical and ethnographic methods and moving beyond familiar reception narratives of Marxist thought in the postcolony, Bardawil engages in "fieldwork in theory" that analyzes how theory seduces intellectuals, cultivates sensibilities, and authorizes political practice. Throughout, Bardawil underscores the resonances and tensions between Arab intellectual traditions and Western critical theory and postcolonial theory, deftly placing intellectuals from those traditions into a much-needed conversation.

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