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Syracuse Humanities Center Explores 'Hoodoo' Spirituality March 23

Professor Arthur Flowers moderates discussion, ritual performance

Mar 20, 2015 | Article by: Rob Enslin


Photo of Arthur Flowers

Arthur Flowers

The Syracuse University Humanities Center in the College of Arts and Sciences continues its Spring Symposia series with a celebration of contemporary Hoodoo, an indigenous African American spiritual tradition.

Katrina Hazzard Donald, a professor at Rutgers University-Camden, will lead a program titled “Flowers and Friends in a Hoodoo Dialogue” on Monday, March 23, at 2 p.m. in The Kilian Room (500) of the Hall of the Languages. It will be followed by a reception and ritual performance at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Folk Art Center (805 East Genesee St., Syracuse). Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Humanities Center at 315-443-7192 or humcenter@syr.edu.

As the title suggests, the afternoon will be moderated by Arthur Flowers, associate professor of English at Syracuse; a Humanities Center Faculty Fellow; and an accomplished novelist, essayist, and performance poet.

“We will examine Hoodoo and its role as an instrument of cultural custodianship and initiatory illumination,” he says, adding that Hoodoo is rooted in West African, Native American, and European spiritual traditions and beliefs. “We also will challenge popular perceptions of Hoodoo, while chronicling its recent evolution from folk to high magic.”

katrina_hazzard_donald.jpg

Katrina Hazzard Donald

One of the nation’s leading dance researchers, Donald is a professor of sociology, anthropology, and criminal justice, as well as Africana studies and research at Rutgers. She will be joined by Papa Joe Fisher, drummer, Hoodoo adept, and elder of the Gullah Geechie Nation; Melvin Gibbs, Hoodoo adept and “best bassist in the world” (Time Out magazine); Joeanna Mitchell, metaphysician, spiritualist, Tarot master, and Hoodoo adept; and Anna B. Scott, dancer, performance artist, Hoodoo adept, and master conduit of the Vita Vibrare arts consultancy.

The afternoon is co-sponsored by A&S and its departments of African American Studies and English, as well as CFAC; and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

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Contact Information

Ron Enslin
315-443-3403
rmenslin@syr.edu