Previous Colloquia

KOSANBA 1997KOSANBA 2000KOSANBA 2001KOSANBA 2003

KOSANBA 2004KOSANBA 2006KOSANBA 2007KOSANBA 2009KOSANBA 2013KOSANBA 2015

colloquium XI - 2015

 

 

Trees Take Us to the Gods: Vodou and the Environment

In conjunction with the 27th Haitian Studies Association Conference
Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada
Wednesday, October 21–Sunday, October 25, 2015

Under the Aegis of Klèmezin, Minis Azaka, and Bway Gede

 

 


Read the call for papers... (click to expand/collapse)


The Lwa of agriculture and of hard work and of common folks, Klèmezinn and Azaka, the male and female “seed,” make things grow, while Bwa [Brav] Gede announces the death of all, as surely as our sun itself will die someday! So-called nature religions are anchored in scientific phenomena and their manipulations, recognizing that all fragile creatures are one, sharing both DNA and purposeful intent. The mineral, vegetal, and animal kingdoms are the foundations of our lives on a creative and living planet. We create the environment and are created by it, simultaneously, as an indication of our cosmic powers as agents. In Vodou and other indigenous African religions the notion of environment suggests a philosophical, religious, cosmological belief and attitude of embedded continuity tacitly comprehended.

The colloquium seeks to explore the intimate connections between animate and inanimate objects, so perceived, in the natural and the hard sciences, the built environments we inhabit that include the world of dreams, and the frightful powers we possess communally as destroyer. We will also bring to the fore Vodou’s divine knowledge and collective capacity for healing and renewal within nature’s endless cycle of life.

The Congress of Santa Barbara's 11th International Colloquium highlights this mission of return to source and renewal inherent in Haitian Vodou, in other African-derived religious systems in the Americas, and in indigenous African religions. Environment encompasses not just the plants and the trees so dear to Gran Bwa, the agricultural work of Kousin Zaka and Kouzinn, the labor and travay of Klèmezinn Klermeil, the rivers and oceans, but also health and medicine, the built environment, families and gender relations, the sociopolitical environment, and more. On that basis, our use of “environment” implies an all-encompassing surrounding, or even notions of “ecology” which suggest more strongly the continuous reciprocity of human beings embedded in and influencing that surrounding. This is in keeping with the ethos of Vodou in which all are tied, in which each cell, each molecule are copies of the transcendent all—fractals revisited.

In its 11th colloquium, KOSANBA aims to inspire conversations and discussion on nature and environment and divine knowledge across the Atlantic. We wish to underscore how this substantial and significant compendium of traditional knowledge and practices have proven largely effective in sustaining spiritual and corporeal over time, for individuals as well as the collective in Haiti and beyond.

This forum hopes to include the contributions of researchers, scholars, and practitioners in Vodou and other African-derived systems. KOSANBA welcomes papers/presentations on issues such as, though not limited to:

* New and old theoretical lenses and frameworks for discussing sacred knowledge
* Shifting religious practices and ideology
* Worldviews and “world sense” in the context of nature
* Philosophical and cosmological beliefs and attitudes embedded in nature/environment
* Nature's role in restoration and equilibrium
* Environmental concerns and healing practices
* Religious healing in the face of natural disasters
* Water, earth, fire and their roles in Vodou
* Vodou and ecology
* Medicinal plants and their curative function
* Manje Lwa and ritual feeding of the spirit
* Kombit and agricultural contracts
* Arts and other curative practices used for healing and restoring universal balance
* Importance of mortuary rites and burial practices in maintaining cosmic order
* Dynamics of religious communities in new environments, new nations, and peyi blan
* The transformation of lives for new converts and initiates away from the native land

Please submit a whole panel of no more than four presenters (a fifth person may chair or moderate a panel), or an individual paper by May 31, 2015 to the Program Committee. Each presentation should be no more than fifteen minutes (2,000 words or 7–8 pages in length), allowing time for discussion. An abstract of approximately 300–500 words with the title of the paper should be submitted on one page; on a separate cover page, the name(s) of the presenter(s), together with institutional affiliation(s), if applicable, and the title of the presentation(s) should also be included. Full panel submissions should submit one file with all of the applicants’ abstracts and required information. Additionally, applicants must provide current contact information such as mailing address, telephone numbers and e-mail address, also to be submitted by May 31, 2015. All proposals will be peer-reviewed, and you shall be informed of a final decision on participation by June 30, 2015.

Papers should be submitted online to the Program Committee at KosanbaConference@gmail.com.

One must be a member of KOSANBA to present a paper at the conference. Registration is also required for all presenters. Registration fees are required for nonmembers to attend the conference. All those who are scholars and/or practitioners are invited to submit an application in order to join the association.

Registration information will be posted at http://www.research.ucsb.edu/cbs/projects/haiti/kosanba/.

Questions? Please email KosanbaConference@gmail.com or phone 805-893-3914.

Download the Call for Papers as a PDF

Colloquium X - 2013

kosanba programWhen Earth Meets Sky:

Healing Rites & Sacred Knowledge in Haiti & Beyond

KOSANBA International Colloquium X

 

October 18–20, 2013

 

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

 

Conference Highlights:

Opening Remarks, Professor Jacob K. Olupona, Harvard University

Keynote, Professor Donald J. Cosentino, University of California, Los Angeles

Closing Event, Professors Rachel Beauvoir-Dominique and Didier Dominique, Université d'Etat d'Haiti

Download the Program from the 2013 KOSANBA Conference

Read the call for papers... (click to expand/collapse)

On January 12th, 2010, the Haitian earthquake known as "Goudougoudou" claimed 300,000 souls, and left at least ten million people mourning in Haiti as well as beyond its national borders. Though this catastrophe would deeply scar the island of Hispaniola, it also brought to the fore the country's collective capacity for healing and renewal in the invocation of its vibrant Neo-African religious traditions. This type of holistic healing revealed once again the importance of divine knowledge that is skillfully guarded by priests and adept healers.

In Vodou, as in other African derived religions, intuitive knowledge coupled with wisdom from the ancestors—what we call konesans—is regarded as sacred and worthy of much protection. Metaphysical eyes so-to-speak allow participants in these traditions to become more alert, and to recognize the presence of the divine in the everyday as well as in otherworldly planes they might enter. When humans attempt to make contact with the divine realm, when spirits and ancestors arrive to meet the requests of living souls, we recognize this as the moment when spiritual integration takes place, when healing—individual and collective—happens. These occurrences suggest a humble moment when mortals witness divinity and a flash of the spirit, an instance when earth meets sky.

The Congress of Santa Barbara's 10th International Colloquium highlights the healing mission inherent in Haitian Vodou and in other African-derived religious systems in the Americas, in indigenous African religions, and within the scope of recent studies in alternative and complementary medicine in the West. These religious and secular communities have continued their healing practices refined over centuries of experience. We wish to underscore how this substantial and significant compendium of traditional methods and recent innovations have proven largely effective in spiritual and corporeal healing over time, for individuals as well as the collective.


In its 10th colloquium, KOSANBA aims to inspire conversations and discussion on healing practices and divine knowledge across the Atlantic. This forum hopes to include the contributions of researchers, scholars, and practitioners in Vodou and other African-derived systems, as well as secular modes of healing. We meet this year in Boston, a center for religious, philosophical, and anthropological scholarly studies. KOSANBA welcomes papers/presentations on issues such as, though not limited to:

* Worldviews and "world sense" in the context of healing

* Shifting religious practices and ideology over time

* New and old literary/theoretical lenses and frameworks for discussing sacred knowledge

* "Spirit injury," mental illness and similar "invisible" ailments

* Arts and other curative practices used for healing and restoring universal balance

* Environmental concerns and secular healing practices

* Religious healing in the face of natural disasters (i.e. Haitian Vodou post- earthquake and New Orleans Vodou post-Katrina)

* Importance of mortuary rites and burial practices in maintaining cosmic order

* Dynamics of religious communities in new nations and peyi blan, the transformation of lives for new converts and initiates

Please submit a whole panel of no more than four presenters (a fifth person may chair or moderate a panel), or an individual paper by 31 May 2013 to the Program Committee. Each presentation should be no more than fifteen minutes (2,000 words or 7-8 pages in length), allowing time for discussion. An abstract of approximately 300-500 words with the title of the paper should be submitted on one page; on a separate cover page, the name(s) of the presenter(s), together with institutional affiliation(s) if applicable and the title of the presentation(s) should also be included. Full panel submissions should submit one file with all of the applicants' abstracts and required information. Additionally, applicants must provide current contact information such as mailing address, telephone numbers and e-mail address, also to be submitted by 31 May 2013. Completed papers are due by September 1, 2013 to allow panel members time to read those papers before the conference. All proposals will be peer-reviewed, and you shall be informed of a final decision on participation by 30 June, 2013.

Papers should be submitted online to the Program Committee Co-Chairs Gina Athena Ulysse and Roberto Strongman at kosanba@cbs.ucsb.edu

One must be a member of KOSANBA to present a paper at the conference. Registration is also required for all presenters. Registration fees are required for non-members to attend the conference. All those who are scholars and/or practitioners are invited to submit an application in order to join the association.

Membership Fees are as follows: General membership $60.00 US, Students $35.00 US Conference Registration: $75.00 US, Students $25.00 US (Before August 1, 2013) On-site Conference Registration (after 8/1/13) $100.00 US, Students $45.00 US

KOSANBA—A Scholarly Association for the Study of Haitian Vodou, is headquartered at the Center for Black Studies Research at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

All Fees should be made payable to UC Regents. In the Memo Section write: KOSANBA Membership and/or Registration. Mail to:

KOSANBA c/o Center for Black Studies Research University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106

Please refer any questions to or transmit all relevant documents to the Program Committee Co-Chairs,
Gina Athena Ulysse (Wesleyan University) and Roberto Strongman (University of California Santa Barbara) at kosanba@cbs.ucsb.edu



 

Colloquium IX - 2009

KOSANBA poster 2009Sak pase? N' a pe koute!

Dites donc, nous sommes a l'ecoute

Tell Us, We're All Ears

KOSANBA International Colloquium IX

July 13–17, 2009

Mirebalais, Haiti

Centre Culturel Leocardie & Alexandre Kenscoff (C-CLAK)
Rue Fonmonbin
Mirebalais, Haiti

Colloquium VIII - 2007

KOSANBA poster 2007Lontan, Kounyè-a, ak Demen:
Fèmen Sek-la

The Past Regulates the Present as it Does the Future

Le passé est le
régulateur du
présent comme
de l’avenir

KOSANBA International Colloquium VIII

November 2–3, 2007

Boston, Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts, Boston

Colloquium VII - 2006

KOSANBA poster 2009La Fanmi-a Sanble: Relijyon Afrik-Ginen Rasanble

Family Resemblances: African-Derived Religions Meet

KOSANBA International Colloquium VII

March 31–April 1, 2006

Detroit, Michigan

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

Colloquium VI - 2004

KOSANBA poster 20092004 Onward: The Gede Family, Life and Death Struggles

KOSANBA International Colloquium VI

October 6–8, 2004

Puerto Rico

University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

Colloquium V - 2003

KOSANBA poster 2009Lot Bo Dlo: Dyaspora Peyi d Ayiti Ak Tout Vodou li

Across the Waters: The Haitian Religious Diaspora

KOSANBA International Colloquium V

June 7, 2003

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Nova Southeastern University, Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center

Colloquium IV - 2001

KOSANBA poster 2009"Limen Limye, Limen Chimen" Worldview and Religious Paradigms in Nation-Building

KOSANBA International Colloquium IV

October 11–13, 2001

Burlington, Vermont

St. Michael's College

Colloquium III - 2000

KOSANBA poster 2009Ancestors and Progeny

Zanset ak Timoun

KOSANBA International Colloquium III

March 22–23, 2000

Hartford, Connecticut

Trinity College

Colloquium II - 1998

KOSANBA poster 2009The Spirit and the Reality: Vodou and Haiti

KOSANBA International Colloquium II

April 3–4, 1998

Brooklyn, New York

CUNY

Colloquium I - 1997

KOSANBA poster 2009The Spirit and the Reality: Vodou and Haiti

KOSANBA International Colloquium I

April 25–26, 1997

Santa Barbara, California

University California, Santa Barbara

KOSANBA LINKS

Journal of Haitian Studies

Haitian Studies Association

Additional Links

Haiti Projects
at UCSB

Journal of Haitian Studies

Descent of the Lwa

Center for Black Studies

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