Sorcery in the Black Atlantic
Most scholarship on sorcery and witchcraft has narrowly focused on specific times and places, particularly early modern Europe and twentieth-century Africa. And much of that research interprets sorcery as merely a remnant of premodern traditions. Boldly challenging these views, Sorcery in the Black Atlantic takes a longer historical and broader geographical perspective, contending that sorcery is best understood as an Atlantic phenomenon that has significant connections to modernity and globalization.
A distinguished group of contributors here examine sorcery in Brazil, Cuba, South Africa, Cameroon, and Angola. Their insightful essays reveal the way practices and accusations of witchcraft spread throughout the Atlantic world from the age of discovery up to the present, creating an indelible link between sorcery and the rise of global capitalism. Shedding new light on a topic of perennial interest, Sorcery in the Black Atlantic will be provocative, compelling reading for historians and anthropologists working in this growing field.
“This is a rich and complex collection of essays that address a set of compelling questions about the relation between sorcery and modernity. Sorcery in the Black Atlantic brings together a set of first-rate scholars to demonstrate how the category of sorcery emerges from the overlapping claims of multiple interlocutors—scholars, elites, subalterns, Pentecostals, and others—as these speakers together weave a dense discursive field crossing between analytical and practical applications. The book brings into view for the first time the transatlantic and lusophone networks that help to produce sorcery and complicates in productive ways a by now overly familiar resistance/hegemony polarization.”