Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title

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pp. 4-4

Copyright

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pp. 5-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

This book is about material objects and the belief in their nonmaterial powers. It is also about race, and the ways in which the discourses and hierarchies of race have intersected with those of magic and religion. In particular, it is concerned with those distinctive conjunctions of racial and religious categories that have linked and divided Native Americans, African Americans, and whites in America. 1 ...

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1. Hierarchies of Race and Religion: Fetishism, Totemism, Manitou, and Conjure

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pp. 9-38

This chapter explores the ways in which ideas of what came to be called primitive religion were informed by underlying assumptions about established hierarchies of religion and race. The increasing systematization of race and of religion through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries meant that the ability to describe and understand not just what but how other races believed became an important concern. ...

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2. Superstition and Progress

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pp. 39-70

In Chapter 1 I outlined how questions about materiality and spirit were rehearsed in racialized terms in debates over fetishism, and various forms of animist belief. By the last decades of the nineteenth century different ways of categorizing these beliefs were emerging, with James Frazer's tripartite division of magic, religion, and science reflecting a diverse but widespread set of evolutionary and hierarchical assumptions. ...

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3. Primitivism, Modernism, and Magic

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pp. 71-101

In the last chapter, I looked at the ways in which calls for a rational progression beyond superstition and toward a clearer division between material and spiritual powers were racially nuanced. I argued that there was an attempt to consign irrational beliefs to primitive people, and to assume that these superstitions would evaporate, ...

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4. Black Arts: Conjure and Spirit

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pp. 102-126

In moving from the 1920s and 1930s up to recent times, we find a much wider range of representations of Indian and Mrican American magic and religion. Native American and Mrican American artists themselves have reformulated the terms in which they are represented, and anthropological approaches have become more reflexive and dialogical. ...

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5. The Return of the Fetish

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pp. 127-148

In the last chapter I dealt with some uses of the legacy of conjure and music by Mrican American artists and writers, and the claims made for that legacy as a continuing resource for their community. The question of the wider relevance or applicability of these forms was not my main focus, but I want to begin this chapter by making a bridge with Native American concerns ...

Notes

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pp. 149-188

Bibliography

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pp. 189-206

Index

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pp. 207-214

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 215-222

This book has its roots in ideas developed during a Research Fellowship at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center at Princeton University, 2000--2001. I'm grateful to Tony Grafton and Ken Mills for their hospitality and encouragement and for providing an unfailingly stimulating and supportive intellectual environment. ...