Sunday, March 27, 2011

High science: a conversation with J. Brent Crosson

Tuesday 29 March, 2011, at 7 pm

J. Brent Crosson is a doctoral candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of California and a researcher affiliated with the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. He is currently in Trinidad and Tobago on an eighteen-month Fulbright research grant. From November 2010 to February 2011, he was based at Alice Yard.

He describes his research:

“My broader project examines spirits as cultural archives, especially for mute or concealed histories, where embodied practice is the method for remembering. I am also interested in Trinbagonian perceptions of superstition — who or what counts as obeah — and the relation of these perceptions to modernity and postcolonialism. Finally, I am looking at how ‘high science,’ as sorcery is sometimes known in the Caribbean, relates to the science that emerged out of the Enlightenment in its approach to materiality.”

On Tuesday 29 March, 2011, at 7 pm, Crosson will give a presentation at Alice Yard on his current fieldwork. There will also be an opportunity for members of the audience to engage him in dialogue. His talk will focus on his fieldwork in Moruga on the south coast of Trinidad:

“From the mass hysteria/demonic possession at the local secondary school to the descent of helicopters and military personnel to the town savannah, the first week I spent in Moruga was punctuated by events that conjured the place of this region in the national imaginary. These two events, especially the former, stirred local and national debates regarding the relation of belief in supernatural forces, on the one hand, and rural economic livelihoods, on the other, to postcoloniality, development and modernity. My research examines the complex relations and convergences between religion and rationality, spiritual and psychological forces, modernity and belief, and rural and urban spaces that these events in Moruga conjured.”

All are invited.

Crosson can be contacted at

1 comment:

SAM said...

Darn.... Can't believe I missed this! This was just up my alley.