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Professor Paul Humphrey Publishes Book on African-Derived Religions in Caribbean Literature

Santería, Vodou and Resistance in Caribbean Literature: Daughters of the Spirits,” authored by Paul Humphrey, Ph.D., has just been published in the Legenda book series “Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures.” Humphrey is an assistant professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures and affiliate faculty of the gender studies program.

In his book, Humphrey examines the representation of African-derived religions like Santería and Vodou in a number of novels and plays from the Hispanic and Francophone Caribbean. His analysis focuses on the complex narratives of resistance articulated through several Cuban, Haitian, Dominican, and Puerto Rican texts, particularly with regard to women’s negotiation of religious, social, and political life as Santería and Vodou practitioners. In so doing, it demonstrates how these works of fiction and theater resist and subvert patriarchal discourses of gender and sexuality, while giving space for marginalized voices to be heard.

The publication of “Santería, Vodou and Resistance in Caribbean Literature: Daughters of the Spirits” was sponsored by the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland and the Spanish Embassy in London. In conjunction with Legenda, an imprint of the Modern Humanities Research Association, they awarded Humphrey a publication prize in 2014 for one of the best doctoral dissertations written at a British or Irish university.