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University of Arkansas
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Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences
Copyright © 2013
Religious Studies Welcomes New Professor of African Religions
Prof. Landry is a socio-cultural anthropologist who works in the global West African religious world. Drawing on both anthropology and religious studies, he has collaborated with Vodún and orisa worshipers in coastal West Africa (Bénin and Nigeria) and with practitioners of Vodou in Haiti and Lucumí (Santería) in the United States. In his research, he seeks to understand broadly the ways in which West African religious traditions and their derivatives move around the globe.
In his current research project, Seeking Divine Power, he explores the ways in which the globalization of Vodún (Bénin) is encouraged by the formation of transnational religious-based markets, global media, and international spiritual tourism. He takes special interest in how religious secrecy and material culture is performed, commodified, and mobilized by both Béninois Vodún practitioners and foreign spiritual seekers who seek to authenticate and legitimize the transnational migration of West African religious practices and ideologies as new diasporas are formed in the U.S. and Europe.
In the near future, he aims to build upon this research by focusing on the ways in which the city-scape has begun to shape the practice of Vodún around the world.