What’s it like to enter a religious or spiritual space as a queer person? In Haitian Vodou, the divinities are ready to accept LGBTQIA+ practitioners—and are arguably queer themselves. In part two of our Pride Beyond Borders episode about this African diasporic religion, Professor Eziaku Nwokocha takes us into one of Manbo Maude’s temples to better understand this spiritual practice, and how its practitioners navigate questions of race, gender, and sexuality.
Curious for more? Check out part one of our conversation with Professor Nwokocha, where we get down to basics on Haitian Vodou and Haitian history. And revisit the first episode from our Pride Beyond Borders series, all about global drag cultures, with Professor Kareem Khubchandani.
Eziaku Nwokocha is an Assistant Professor at the University of Miami. She is a scholar of Africana religions with expertise in the ethnographic study of Vodou in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora Her research is grounded in a thorough understanding of religions in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States, in gender and sexuality studies, visual and material culture and Africana Studies generally.
She is the author of Vodou en Vogue: Fashioning Black Divinities in Haiti and the United States (University of North Carolina Press, 2023), which is an ethnographic study of fashion, spirit possession, and gender and sexuality in contemporary Haitian Vodou, exploring Black religious communities through their innovative ceremonial practices. This book is featured within the series Where Religion Lives.
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