Speaker series: Dr. Eric J. Montgomery “Spirits, Ancestors, and Taboo: Divination as Ethnographic Method”

Join the Anthropology Department for a lecture series, this time with Dr. Eric J. Montgomery! Montgomery will host the lecture “Spirits, Ancestors, and Taboo: Divination as Ethnographic Method” on March 13 from 3:30 P.M. – 4:30 P.M. in McDonel Hall C103.

Zoom option: https://msu.zoom.us/j/99146869800 Passcode: ANP@MSU

Divination has long fascinated ethnographers, and the amount of case studies throughout the world proliferate in the academic literature. Like “witchcraft” and “sorcery” these indigenous thought and belief systems are often mystified inside and outside of academia. Many view divination and related concepts as “tradition,” “custom,” and “historical survivals,” however, they are actually innovative, adaptive, and also growing in importance in places like Western Africa, Latin America, and The Caribbean. This lecture will take a comparative approach to various ethnographic examples of divination from Western Africa (Ifa/Fa/Afa) and Oceania writ large and assess their importance for decolonizing anthropology today.