19th Annual IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival -
August 14th - 19th, 2017 -
Within the framework of our annual festival, we invite you to present your papers and personal experiences at the academic conference segment. The conference is open to academics, artists and practitioners of Regla de Ocha (also known as Santeria). We aim to establish a dialogue on topics relevant to the continuity and preservation of this tradition, of which there are thousands of followers around the world. The conference will take place on
Thursday, August 17th, 2017 from 9:00am to 8:00pm at the HistoryMiami Museum, 101 West Flagler St, Miami, FL 33130, a collaborator and sponsor of the festival.
Call for Papers
The topic of the academic section of the festival this year is: "Following the Steps of the Orishas: Afro-Cuban Spirituality in Urban Spaces"
The focus of the call allows panelists to present any work focused on Regla de Ocha or Santeria in the religious or cultural aspect. Presentations directed towards dance are welcome.
(See Call for Papers below or download it here in
According to political scientist Ronald F. Inglehart:
"Postmaterialistic values are epitomized by concern for social equality; increased participation in important decisions impacting one's life; increased desire for freedom, increased concern for quality of life, self-expression, sense of community, and environmentalism. Overall, broad value changes, characterized by spirituality and spiritually-oriented ideals, are becoming embedded in societies around the world...On the other hand, materialist values express concern for prosperity, security and control...[i]"
It can be argued that postmaterialism, then, reflects the platform of values on which Regla de Ocha has expanded at a global level as a cultural and religious phenomenon. However, despite modern society's apparent postmaterialist values, power, gender, economic, and racial relations affect the religious structure and spirituality of this tradition as it spreads around the world through the Cuban Diaspora.
Based on this precept, we would like to investigate the following topics during the conference:
- How have aesthetic values been transformed in Regla de Ocha (in performance or in the religion in general) as a mechanism of social resistance and/or to satisfy the market?
- To what extent international choreographers (and other artists) assume respect for the tradition while negotiating contemporary aesthetics?
- How do Cubans receive credit as sources?
- In what ways are gender differences or contradictions apparent?
- Has there been a criterion for inclusion and/or exclusion of what is traditional in the practice of this religion in the United States?
- How has globalization affected the preservation of Regla de Ocha in Cuba as the center of this tradition?
- To what degree technology allowed Regla de Ocha to be assimilated and redistributed as a reformed cultural practice?
- How does the market affect the religiosity and practice of the Regla de Ocha?
- Is there any such thing as ideological or racial contradictions among practitioners in the new spaces in which this tradition is practiced?
- Can ritual commonalities and/or differences be recognizable in the contemporary religious practices between Nigeria and Cuba?
- Is syncretism still relevant to Regla de Ocha?
- To what degree is necessary to institutionalize this religion as some religious figures are proposing?
- What are the recommendations of religious elders in regards to preserving the religion's function as a unifying and supportive practice for those in need?
Conference sessions will include:
Individual Paper Presentations - original research including in-depth exploration and analysis of an issue related to the conference theme. [20 minutes paper/10 minutes for Q & A]
Personal experiences - any description of a personal anecdote or any lived situation related to the conference topics
Panels - organized panels of 3-4 papers on related topics, each presenting original research related to the conference theme. [3-4 panelists - 1.5 hours] [15-20 minutes paper/10 minutes for Q & A]
Movement Sessions - practical presentations of dance forms including a narrative component based on the applied Oricha dance styles [50 minutes - 10 minutes for Q & A]
Digital submission only - Mailed paper proposals will not be accepted
Deadline for abstracts and videos: May 31st
Notification of acceptance: June 30th
Abstracts should be submitted online to:
Abstract Submission Details
- Abstracts should clearly explain the question, concern, issue, or project goals of your presentation. The proposal must address the conference theme. No photos, text boxes, bullet points or tables (250-word limit).
- Name and contact information for lead presenter (full name, preferred address, phone number and e-mail) should be submitted in a separate field from the abstract.
- Biography for each panelist-150-word limit.
- Track of session - Choose one of the categories as per the above guidelines (Individual Paper, Personal Experience, Panel and Movement session).
- Audio/visual requirements - State requirements for your presentation. The following A/V devices will be available: projector and screen, computer, DVD player, CD player and speakers.
- Conference portion registration: US$20 - suggested donation (panelists should register upon abstract submission)
- Notification date (of acceptance): June 30th
Invitation: Africa's Great Civilizations - Screening and Panel Discussion
The Africa-America Institute
Educating People | Connecting Worlds
Please join us at the United Nations on
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 for a
Panel Discussion, Audience Q&A and a Film Screening of Highlights
from the Critically Acclaimed PBS Documentary
Africa's Great Civilizations
Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University
A panel discussion on Africa Revealed will showcase the rich and vast histories beyond the colonial narrative; AAI President & CEO, Kofi Appenteng will facilitate this illuminating conversation that will delve into the scholarship led by Professor Gates with leaders from the African diaspora and UN African Diplomatic Corps.
Both the screening and panel will take place at the United Nations in the Trusteeship Conference Room, entrance located at First Avenue @ 46th Street, New York, NY
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.
Light Refreshments will be served
Special thanks to the UN Permanent Missions of the Central African Republic, The Gambia & the African Union Observer