Philosophy and Religion

Presentation by Liseli Fitzpatrick (PFF Fellow)

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Liseli Fitzpatrick

On Friday, March 30th, Liseli Fitzpatrick (Preparing Future Faculty Fellow) will give a presentation on her dissertation research. The presentation will take place from 3:30-5:00 in Cleveland Hall 114.

Title of the talk: “Sexuality through the Eyes of the Òrìṣa : An Exploration into Ifá/Òrìṣa and Sacred Sexualities in Post-Colonial Trinidad & Tobago” 


“Sexuality through the Eyes of the Òrìṣa : An Exploration into Ifá/Òrìṣa and Sacred Sexualities in Post-Colonial Trinidad & Tobago” uses the Yorùbá sacred science of Ifa to assert the claim that sexuality transcends phenotypical appearance. In its expedition, the study explores the cosmological nature of sexuality and gender within the Yorùbá spiritual system of Ifa/Òrìsà and its Afro-Atlantic offshoot in Trinidad and Tobago. It offers thought-provoking and insightful discourse into the inherent dynamism of sexuality and gender by unearthing the intrinsic ideological underpinnings ofIfá/Òrìṣa , which challenge Western hegemonic constructs. According to Ifa’s teachings, human beings and, by extension, all that resides within the cosmos – creation – are as a result of energy derived from an androgynous God referred to as Olodumare. The purpose of the study is to contribute more exclusively to the advancement of scholarship on human sexualities and gender, both theoretically and practically, in its empirical exploration of African-centered sacred ideologies – relatively unknown and/or hidden – due to imposed and repressive Western conceptualizations and policing of sexuality and gender. The research is significant not only because it adds to the body of knowledge for the further understanding of, and education in African spirituality and sexuality, but makes a decisive intervention into the scholarship by its spirit-centered outlook on sexuality and gender through a critical navigation of the Yorùbá Ifá/Òrìṣa worldview against the historical trajectory of a post-colonial Trinidad and Tobago. Through auto-ethnographic lens and diverse literary sources, the assertion that sexuality is an inherently transcendental reality is substantiated.

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