N. Fadeke Castor is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Northeastern University and award-winning author of Spiritual Citizenship: Transnational Pathways from Black Power to Ifá in Trinidad (Duke University Press, 2017). A Black feminist ethnographer, African Diaspora Studies scholar of Trinidadian heritage, and Yorùbá Ifá initiate she is both inspired by, and aspires to create, Black liberation imaginaries. Her writings can be found in Cultural Anthropology, Fieldwork in Religion, Tarka, and The Black Scholar and emerge from an engagement of Spirit with the Black radical tradition. Her current book project explores how a Black spiritual praxis that draws from non-Christian religious and spiritual ontologies and epistemologies shifts centers of being and ways of knowing towards collective care, healing, and social transformation. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard Divinity School.
Crossroads Community Stories Fellows Project
Digital Ancestral Altars: Remembrances of Trinidad Ifá/Orisha Elders
Digital Ancestral Altars creates a digital multi-modal repository and archive to commemorate Trinidad’s ancestral Ifá/Orisha elders. The developed website will be the public facing part of the archive and connect members of the transnational Yorùbá Ìṣẹ̀ṣe L’àgbà (traditional religion/culture) community. In recent years many of Trinidad’s Ifá/Orisha elders have passed into the ancestral realm. This informs the urgency of this project as our communities continue to have our elders move on. There is no one place where digital media from their lives, including interviews and ritual moments, can be readily accessed by community members spreading out across the diaspora. Digital Ancestral Altars is positioned in this gap with a vision of expanding over phases to involve a wider swathe of the community and digitally enshrine more elders. Initial content for the website will make accessible to the global Ìṣẹ̀ṣe community specific ethnographic materials from Dr. Castor’s Trinidad Ethnographic Archive. As the project develops it will incorporate shared contributions from the Ìṣẹ̀ṣe community. Ultimately, this project will document and memorialize Ìṣẹ̀ṣe elders, while also contributing to conversations on digital Black religions, spiritual praxis, transnational religious communities and the construction of the African diaspora.