Catalogue


Hidden powers of state in the Cuban imagination /
Kenneth Routon.
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2010.
description
xii, 204 p.
ISBN
0813034833 (alk. paper), 9780813034836 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c2010.
isbn
0813034833 (alk. paper)
9780813034836 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
7223439
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-05-01:
The creolized folk religions of the Americas have long been rich grounds for researchers in many disciplines, among them anthropology, history, sociology, folklore, art history, and musicology. That unfailing richness rises from their continuous re-creation to meet new social, economic, and emotional functions, and from their various mixes of African, Native American, and European sources. This book on Cuban magico-religious practices shows how they are incorporated into and inseparable from beliefs about the state and its power. Routon demonstrates their intimate ties to social and economic changes as Cuba struggled without support after eastern European communism collapsed. Afro-Cuban cults expanded. Ritual centers took on new functions in new circumstances. They offered magico-religious protection to persons in hard times, but equally important, they functioned in the underground economy, social support networks, and the tourist trade. Soon the state appropriated popular religion to enhance its own authority. Sometimes popular religious movements become the foundation for revolutionary change. In this case, however, popular religion was co-opted. An accessible, well-written case study of the relationship between popular culture and the state. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries. R. Berleant-Schiller emerita, University of Connecticut
Reviews
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Choice, May 2011
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
"A valuable contribution to scholarship in Cuban studies and the study of religion in the Americas. Routon goes beyond other works in analyzing the Cuban capacity for combining apparently incompatible beliefs such as socialism and various Afro-Cuban practices. He also provides a number of important insights into the processes by which magical and ritual idioms of power feed the political imagery and exercise of power in Cuba, and vice versa."--Christine Ayorinde, author of Afro-Cuban Religiosity, Revolution, and National Identity "A fascinating, timely, and deftly balanced account of the power of magic and the state in revolutionary Cuba. This compelling and evocative book transports readers to the secret and mysterious alleys of religious and political workings, the ritual production of selective historical memory, and the current statecraft of religious appropriations."--Raquel Romberg, author of Healing Dramas: Divination and Magic in Modern Puerto Rico " Hidden Powers of the State in the Cuban Imaginationis a remarkable achievement. Rather than delivering "yet another" ethnography of an objectified entity called "Afro-Cuban religion, Routon opens up fresh and illuminating perspectives on the historical complexity and contemporary volatility of the semiotics of a world in which the experientially occult nature of power has become coextensive with the experience of the powers of the occult."--Stephan Palmie, University of Chicago Despite its hard-nosed emphasis on the demystifying realism of Marxist-Leninist ideology, the political imagery of the Cuban revolution--and the state that followed--conjures up its own magical seductions and fantasies of power. In this fascinating account, Kenneth Routon shows how magic practices and political culture are entangled in Cuba in unusual and intimate ways. Routon describes not only how the monumentality of the state arouses magical sensibilities and popular images of its hidden powers, but he also explores the ways in which revolutionary officialdom has, in recent years, tacitly embraced and harnessed vernacular fantasies of power to the national agenda. In his brilliant analysis, popular culture and the state are deeply entangled within a promiscuous field of power, taking turns siphoning the magic of the other in order to embellish their own fantasies of authority, control, and transformation. This study brings anthropology and history together by examining the relationship between ritual and state power in revolutionary Cuba, paying particular attention to the roles of memory and history in the construction and contestation of shared political imaginaries.
Description for Bookstore
"A valuable contribution to scholarship in Cuban studies and the study of religion in the Americas. Routon goes beyond other works in analyzing the Cuban capacity for combining apparently incompatible beliefs such as socialism and various Afro-Cuban practices. He also provides a number of important insights into the processes by which magical and ritual idioms of power feed the political imagery and exercise of power in Cuba, and vice versa."--Christine Ayorinde, author ofAfro-Cuban Religiosity, Revolution, and National Identity "A fascinating, timely, and deftly balanced account of the power of magic and the state in revolutionary Cuba. This compelling and evocative book transports readers to the secret and mysterious alleys of religious and political workings, the ritual production of selective historical memory, and the current statecraft of religious appropriations."--Raquel Romberg, author ofHealing Dramas: Divination and Magic in Modern Puerto Rico "Hidden Powers of the State in the Cuban Imaginationis a remarkable achievement. Rather than delivering "yet another" ethnography of an objectified entity called "Afro-Cuban religion, Routon opens up fresh and illuminating perspectives on the historical complexity and contemporary volatility of the semiotics of a world in which the experientially occult nature of power has become coextensive with the experience of the powers of the occult."--Stephan Palmie, University of Chicago Despite its hard-nosed emphasis on the demystifying realism of Marxist-Leninist ideology, the political imagery of the Cuban revolution--and the state that followed--conjures up its own magical seductions and fantasies of power. In this fascinating account, Kenneth Routon shows how magic practices and political culture are entangled in Cuba in unusual and intimate ways. Routon describes not only how the monumentality of the state arouses magical sensibilities and popular images of its hidden powers, but he also explores the ways in which revolutionary officialdom has, in recent years, tacitly embraced and harnessed vernacular fantasies of power to the national agenda. In his brilliant analysis, popular culture and the state are deeply entangled within a promiscuous field of power, taking turns siphoning the magic of the other in order to embellish their own fantasies of authority, control, and transformation. This study brings anthropology and history together by examining the relationship between ritual and state power in revolutionary Cuba, paying particular attention to the roles of memory and history in the construction and contestation of shared political imaginaries.
Table of Contents
List of Figuresp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
The Magic of the Revolutionp. 1
The Eye and the Tonguep. 19
The Opacity of Powerp. 39
Conjuring the Pastp. 63
Tying the Yuma to the Stickp. 87
The Cult of the Profanep. 111
The Prophetics of Revolutionp. 143
Epiloguep. 169
Notesp. 175
Bibliographyp. 185
Indexp. 197
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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