The upcoming seminar, Towards a Theory of Parareligion, will be given by Justine Bakker.
Towards a Theory of Parareligion
This presentation brings together religious studies and Black studies to rethink the categories of and relationship between “the human” and “religion.” Specifically, Justine will engage the work of contemporary Afrodiasporic writers and artists--including Ellen Gallagher, Drexciya, Christopher Cozier and M. NourbeSe Philip--who have radically reimagined what it means to be human. These works speculate about the possibility of a human ontology grounded in interdependence, relationality, and even symbiosis; allow us to ponder the possibility that agency is extended beyond mere human beings towards nonhuman animals and the broader nonhuman environment; and posit alternatives beyond the stifling presence of what Sylvia Wynter calls “Man.” To theorize and name the transformative potential of these works, Justine coins the term parareligious stories and establishes and develops a theory of parareligion.
Dr. Justine M. Bakker is Assistant Professor in Comparative Religious Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen and postdoctoral researcher at KU Leuven (funded by Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek, FWO). Parareligion is the central theme and theory of her dissertation (defended in May 2020 at Rice University, with portions of it presented at earlier stages), which in turn forms the basis of her current book project, Demonic Ocean: Parareligion in the African Diaspora. Together with David Kline, she is currently editing a volume on Sylvia Wynter and religion, which is under contract with Fordham University Press.
We are meeting on Zoom at 15:00 Netherlands time. The Zoom link has been distributed via our email list. If you would like to receive it (again), please email [email protected].