Program

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships , ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants

Project

Whosoever Doubts My Power: Conjuring Feminism in the Interwar Black Diaspora

Project

Third World Feminist School (Host Institution: University of Miami)

Department

English

Whosoever Doubts My Power: Conjuring Feminism in the Interwar Black Diaspora

This project uses the revolutionary potential of Caribbean religions to theorize black feminism between World War I and World War II. It argues that women artists and performers across the diaspora produced ethnographic and creative representations of Haitian vodou and its sister religions in order to formulate a radical pan-African feminism. Unlike accounts of the savagery and hedonism of a sensationalized “voodoo” perpetuated by white male travelers to Haiti, black women’s narratives of vodou focused specifically on its status as a theology of resistance. By reanimating apolitical narratives of voodoo with their original spiritual provenance in vodou, women of color laid claim to the political force of the religion behind the only successful slave revolt in the western hemisphere.

Third World Feminist School (Host Institution: University of Miami)

Third World Feminist School (3WFS) is a popular education initiative based in South Florida since 2021. The project is a radical learning space for local workers through participatory learning, guided lessons on the history of global liberation movements, and a roster of visiting lectures by organizers and scholars. Revisiting the contributions of feminists of color of the 1970s and 1980s, 3WFS challenges participants to move beyond an empty multiculturalism and towards a revolutionary coalition between women of color from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. This iteration of the school will be a multilingual version held in-person, with readings and activities translated into Spanish and Haitian Kreyòl. Participants are offered funding, childcare, and other support to empower their weekly participation in 3WFS. Our local collaborators are Miami Worker’s Center and (f)empower.