In this Book

The Ohio State University Press
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Despite its long history of encounters with colonialism, slavery, and neocolonialism, Panama continues to be an under-researched site of African Diaspora identity, culture, and performance. To address this void, Renée Alexander Craft examines an Afro-Latin Carnival performance tradition called “Congo” as it is enacted in the town of Portobelo, Panama—the nexus of trade in the Spanish colonial world. In When the Devil Knocks: The Congo Tradition and the Politics of Blackness in Twentieth-Century Panama, Alexander Craft draws on over a decade of critical ethnographic research to argue that Congo traditions tell the story of cimarronaje, charting self-liberated Africans’ triumph over enslavement, their parody of the Spanish Crown and Catholic Church, their central values of communalism and self-determination, and their hard-won victories toward national inclusion and belonging. When the Devil Knocks analyzes the Congo tradition as a dynamic cultural, ritual, and identity performance that tells an important story about a Black cultural past while continuing to create itself in a Black cultural present. This book examines “Congo” within the history of twentieth-century Panamanian etnia negra culture, politics, and representation, including its circulation within the political economy of contemporary tourism.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. List of Photos and Illustrations
  2. pp. viii-x
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Prologue: Playing (with the) Devil
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Introduction: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
  2. pp. 5-27
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  1. 1. "Una Raza, Dox Etnias": The Politics of Be(com)ing "Afropanameno"
  2. pp. 28-55
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  1. 2. Christ, the Devil, and the Terrain of Blackness
  2. pp. 56-107
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  1. 3. Baptizing the Devil: Circum-Local Transmission and Translation of Culture
  2. pp. 108-135
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  1. 4. "¡Los gringos vienen!" / "The gringos are coming!": Race, Gender, and Tourism
  2. pp. 136-155
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  1. 5. Dancing with the Devil at the Crossroads: Performance Ethnography and Staging Thresholds of Difference
  2. pp. 156-192
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  1. Epilogue: Dialogical Performance, Critical Ethnography, and the "Digital Present"
  2. pp. 193-200
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 201-211
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  1. References
  2. pp. 212-226
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 227-240
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  1. Other Titles in the Series
  2. p. 241
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  1. Back Cover
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