In this talk Lisa Pérez will discuss the highly valorized and varied roles played by LGBT practitioners of Afro-Diasporic religions such as Haitian Vodou, Brazilian Candomblé, and Cuban Lucumí. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, and archival research, she will argue that culturally-specific configurations of gender and sexuality have combined to produce religions that are “female normative” and gay-friendly yet are somewhat hostile to transgender and gender nonbinary/nonconforming people. Dr. Pérez will conclude by discussing the implications of her findings for the writing of LGBT religious history.
Elizabeth Pérez is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at UCSB. Her first book, Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black Atlantic Traditions, was published in 2016 by NYU Press as a “signature book” in its North American Religions Series. Honored as a finalist for the 2017 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for the Best Book in Africana Religions, Religion in the Kitchen is the winner of the 2017 Clifford Geertz Prize in the Anthropology of Religion.