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Title: Representations of Voodoo : the history and influence of Haitian Vodou within the cultural productions of Britain and America since 1850
Author: Fenton, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2693 2180
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is the first major investigation into the representations of Vodou within the cultural productions of Britain and America. It also opens up opportunities for further research to be undertaken in the representations of Vodou, Haiti and the culture and religions of other Caribbean countries. This thesis explores the representations of 'Voodoo,' the widely accepted and recognised term for the re-imagined religion, in Britain and America since 1850. The history of the Caribbean and Haiti is examined before considering the influence that the religion of Haitian Vodou has had on cultural production. Through a historical perspective the thesis will consider the evolution of Vodou during the horrors of slavery. The historiographic representations form the basis of the productions and are explored to contextualise Vodou in the British and American imagination. All genres of literature are examined, from the first mention of Vodou in the eighteenth century through to the present day. This is followed by an examination of the cultural reproductions of Vodou in film, animation, theatre and television to explore the diversity of the representations. The wider societal influences are considered throughout this work to contextualise the productions of 'Voodoo'. This thesis argues that the cultural reproductions of Vodou since 1850 have not changed greatly, despite various efforts to redress the misrepresentations, they remain rooted in colonialism. It will argue that many of the cultural productions are reliant on previous representations. They do not in the majority introduce authenticity, instead opting for the more sensational approach. Many of the representations will be shown to be derogatory to the religion, culture and people of Haiti and the diaspora. This is despite Vodou as a religion having survived, gained strength and continuing to thrive in the twenty-first century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PN Literature (General) ; BL Religion