CAS-E Lecture Series, Dr. Jane Parish “Reaching for the Stars in New York City. Ghanaian Religious Discourses and Bewitching Celebrity” November 28th 2023

Reaching for the Stars in New York City. Ghanaian Religious Discourses and Bewitching Celebrity

Carrying out ethnographic fieldwork in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens about West African witchcraft in New York City, examined is why do young Africans in low-paid jobs, having accumulated debts and loans in the New York economy, seek refuge in the most traditional of African religions to learn about the most up-to-date type of success—American celebrity? In a Manhattan media environment, Ghanaian witchcraft discourses about the accumulation of wealth become crucial, I suggest, to understanding the divinatory practices of Akan religious practitioners transfixed by the intangible qualities of American fame and success. To this end, I investigate the uncovering of occult forces by Akan akomfo on behalf of their clients and the subsequent employment of witchcraft to reach the ‘beyond’ and ‘ethereal’ world of the rich and famous.

November 28th 2023, 6.15 pm

Jane Parish
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