"Culture, Custom, and Race: Religious Conversion and Notions of Race in Dahomey and Benin Republic."
Sarah M. Reynolds will be presenting her paper "Culture, Custom, and Race: Religious Conversion and Notions of Race in Dahomey and Benin Republic." This paper investigates: the ways race has been constructed around ideas of religious difference in Dahomey (the kingdom which pre-dated Benin Republic), the ways Dahomeans themselves created racial essentialisms vis-à-vis Europeans, and the ways Beninese uphold such racial dichotomies in the contemporary era.
Reynolds is a third year Ph.D. student of anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. Her research examines conceptions of religion and spirituality in Vodun, Christianity, and Islam in Benin Republic. Reynolds has visited Benin two times for fieldwork--including this past summer through a grant from the West African Research Association. She has linguistic experience in both French and Fongbe.