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- DescriptionAn invative history of the politics and practice of the Caribbean spiritual healing techniques kwn as obeah and their place in everyday life in the region. Spanning two centuries, the book results from extensive research on the development and implementation of anti-obeah legislation. It includes analysis of hundreds of prosecutions for obeah, and an account of the complex and multiple political meanings of obeah in Caribbean societies. Diana Paton moves beyond attempts to define and describe what obeah was, instead showing the political imperatives that often drove interpretations and discussions of it. She shows that representations of obeah were entangled with key moments in Caribbean history, from eighteenth-century slave rebellions to the formation of new nations after independence. Obeah was at the same time a crucial symbol of the Caribbean's alleged lack of modernity, a site of fear and anxiety, and a thoroughly modern and transnational practice of healing itself.
- Author BiographyDiana Paton has researched and taught Caribbean history for nearly twenty years. She studied at Warwick and Yale Universities and is currently Reader in Caribbean History at Newcastle University. Her widely cited first book, No Bond but the Law: Punishment, Race and Gender in Jamaican State Formation, 1780-1870 (2004), was short-listed for the 2007 Elsa Goveia Prize of the Association of Caribbean Historians. Her article, 'Witchcraft, Poison, Law and Atlantic Slavery' won the Lester J. Cappon Award for the best article published in William and Mary Quarterly in 2012. She has also co-edited two collections of essay: Gender and Slave Emancipation in the Atlantic World and Obeah and Other Powers: The Politics of Caribbean Religion and Healing. In 2014 she delivered the 30th Elsa Goveia Memorial Lecture at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, on 'Small Charges: Law and the Regulation of Conduct in the Post-Slavery Caribbean'. She is a former chair of the UK Society for Caribbean Studies and an editor of History Workshop Journal.
- Author(s)Diana Paton
- PublisherCambridge University Press
- Date of Publication10/08/2015
- SubjectHistory: Specific Subjects
- Series TitleCritical Perspectives on Empire
- Place of PublicationCambridge
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintCambridge University Press
- Content Note9 b/w illus. 9 tables
- Weight720 g
- Width152 mm
- Height228 mm
- Spine22 mm
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