Vodou en Vogue: Fashioning Black Divinities in Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora is under exclusive review with UNC press
Vodou en Vogue focuses on the inventive fashion practices of a Vodou practitioner, Manbo Maude, in her Vodou temples in Mattapan, Massachusetts and Jacmel, Haiti. Through interviews, participant observation and video recordings, my historical ethnography explores the embodied sartorial practices of Vodou that are produced and transformed within transnational communities in the Black Atlantic. By conducting research in the U.S. and Haiti, I expand conceptions about religion in the Americas beyond Black Protestantism and explore how fashion and adornment connect communities throughout the Black Atlantic. I argue that fashion in the religious and social life of Vodou accentuates the importance of aesthetics, wellness, and healing in communal identity formation and articulations of gender, sexuality and race. These concepts are relevant to the study of many Black Atlantic religions because the reciprocal relationship of the sacred and the secular helps scholars understanding what is “sensational” about religious practice.