Call for Papers

Africana Sacred Healing Arts Conference

Healing in African and African Diasporic religions encompasses a wide variety of rituals and practices. Rites of healing can involve allopathic, homeopathic, and therapeutic measures that pertain to the individual as well as the collective. Healing rites linked with the arts may
seek to return a person to a previous state of health, or usher them into a new state of being. In much of Africa and the African Diaspora, healers offer holistic remedies to treat people’s physical ailments, social conditions, and psychological states. Studying healing and the arts thus serves as a lens to study identities of self, community, and society more generally.

In what ways do suffering and affliction activate such aesthetic responses?

How do the Black healing arts inflect disease, illness, and sickness on individual, social, and political bodies?

The ISM invites proposals for papers, presentations, and artistic performances that address topics including, but not limited to

  • Expanding definitions of the healing arts, illness, and unwellness
  • Acts of healing and baptism/initiation
  • Arts of healing and mortuary rites
  • Healing as experienced transnationally and in the digital world
  • Healing and the senses (including extra-sensory modes)
  • Therapeutic arts of music, dance, and performance
  • Medicine, materiality, and the arts
  • Relationships between healing, religion, and the medical sciences
  • The various identities of healers

NOTE: Accepted presenters and performers in attendance will receive an allowance to help defray the cost of travel to New Haven. In addition, they will be provided hotel accommodations and several meals at the conference.

Details at