Lecture: Haitian Voodoo and Cuban Santeria-3/17/15

Lecture: on Voodoo and Santeria by  Dr. Gerald Murray.

When: Tuesday, March 17 

Time: 1:00 PM

Location: Santa Fe College, NW Campus, Room S-29 

Haitian Vodou and Cuban Santeria

Professor Gerald Murray is a Cultural Anthropologist who is a retired faculty member of UF’s Department of Anthropology. He received his B.A. from Harvard and his Ph.D. from Columbia.  He has done lengthy fieldwork in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. He spent two years in a Haitian village where he and his wife were frequent observers and occasional participants in local village Vodou ceremonies.  He has also been involved in economic development issues, including tree planting, market systems, and microenterprise, in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  He has visited Cuba and has noted the similarities and differences between Santeria and Vodou.  He has done briefer fieldwork in several Central American and South American countries, in West Africa,  in the Indian Ocean, in the Mid-East (Israel and Palestine) and most recently in China.   Among the courses which he taught at the University of Florida are the Anthropology of the Caribbean,  the Anthropology of Religion, and the Anthropology of Religious Violence.  He has studied 17 languages and is fluent in 8, including Spanish and Haitian Creole. 
His lecture will give an anthropological overview of Vodou and Santeria and will discuss his involvement as expert witness in an Orlando homicide trial involving Haitian Vodou. Dr. Murray worked at the University of Florida from 1986-2010.  He earned his BA from Harvard and his MA and PhD from Colombia.  Dr. Murray has done extended fieldwork in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as well as applied research in 15 countries for 27 public and private agencies.  His many research projects have centered on applied anthropology, including work on the anthropology of religion.  He has published several articles and books on the anthropology of Afro-Caribbean and Abrahamic religions.  Dr. Murray is fluent in six languages (Spanish, French, Haitian Creole, Modern Hebrew, German, Italian)  and conversant in ten others.   

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