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Race, Religion, and the Magic of Secularism in Antebellum America
Start Date: 11/11/2016Start Time: 3:00 PM
End Date: 11/11/2016End Time: 4:00 PM

Event Description
Alexander Rocklin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, will present his recent research.

Come meet the Fakir of Ava, the unrivaled magician and necromancer who will perform scientific illustrations showing through practical experiments the impositions of the Pagan Priesthood ancient and modern! Taking as my example the magician the Fakir of Ava, this talk examines the mid-19th century spectacle of stage-magic performances as a mode of popular secularism in the United States. If we understand secularism not simply as an inevitable political project but what John Modern calls a “conceptual environment” that makes the category religion a self-evident way of dividing up the world, this paper examines one mode through which the religious and the not-religious were naturalized for Americans. Taking religion and race as defined together, I will also analyze the ways in which popular secularism created particular racial-religious hierarchies that drew on and connected Americas to broader trends in colonial knowledge production across the globe. Prepare to be Amazed (or at least educated)!
Location Information:
*WU Campus - Hatfield Library  (View Map)
900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
Phone: 503-370-6300
Room: Hatfield Room
Contact Information:
Name: Doreen Simonsen
Phone: 503 375-5343
Email: dsimonse@willamette.edu
Rocklin
Admission / Ticket Info:
Free Admission
Event Sponsor(s):
Faculty Colloquium
Other Details:
Students are welcome to attend.

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