Tag Archive for McAlister

McAlister Speaks on Transnational Icon Wyclef Jean at Invited Conference

Liza McAlister

Liza McAlister, associate professor of religion, African American studies and American studies, joined an invited conference on “Global Oprah: Celebrity as Transnational Icon” Feb. 25-26 at Yale’s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. The academic conference aimed to theorize neoliberalism, celebrity and humanitarianism, using Oprah Winfrey as a focusing lens.

The conference consisted of six panel discussions, which examined the way celebrities define America, and the role they play in international human rights and politics.

McAlister presented a paper on Wyclef Jean, a Haitian-born Hip-Hop superstar. She discussed his career trajectory beginning with the Fugees, to his founding a humanitarian foundation, serving as a roaming celebrity ambassador to the UN, to his bid to run for President of Haiti. She examined the ways his celebrity status has translated into political capital in the different yet interconnected contexts of the U.S. and Haiti under the current conditions of neoliberalism.

McAlister Joins SSRC Working Group, Attends Conference

Elizabeth McAlister, associate professor of religion, associate professor of African American studies, associate professor of American studies, is a member of the Social Science Research Council’s working group on Spirituality, Political Engagement and Public Life.

Comprising both younger and well established scholars representing anthropology, political theory, religious studies, and sociology, the working group plans workshops to further elaborate and articulate the project’s overarching goals and key commitments.

In addition, McAlister participated in a  conference titled, “States of Devotion: Religion, Neoliberalism and the Politics of the Body in the Americas” conference Nov. 4-5  at The Hemispheric Institute of New York. McAlister examined “the changing role of religious discourses and practices in the wake of the transformations wrought by neoliberal globalization upon communities, societies, and polities across the Hemisphere.”

Dupuy, McAlister, Ulysse Discuss Haiti

Following the catastrophic earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, three Wesleyan faculty, Alex Dupuy, Elizabeth McAlister, and Gina Ulysse have appeared in numerous publications and on radio programs to provide context for thinking about the disaster.

Alex Dupuy.

Alex Dupuy.

Alex Dupuy, the Class of 1958 Distinguished Professor of Sociology, spoke to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp and wrote an essay titled “Beyond the Earthquake: A Wake-Up Call for Haiti” on the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) forum, saying, “There is no doubt that the dominant economic and political classes of Haiti bear great responsibility for the abysmal conditions in the country that exacerbated the impact of the earthquake (or of hurricanes or tropical storms).  However, these local actors did not create these conditions alone but did so in close partnership with foreign governments and economic actors with long-standing interests in Haiti, principally those of the advanced countries—the United States, Canada, and France—and their international financial institutions (IFIs)—the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank.  Since the 1970s and under various free market mantras, these international actors and institutions sought to and succeeded in transforming Haiti into a supplier of the cheapest

McAlister and Ulysse Discuss Haiti, Vodou

Elizabeth McAlister, associate professor of religion, associate professor of African American studies, and Gina Ulysse, associate professor of anthropology, associate professor of African American studies, associate professor of feminist gender and sexuality studies, were featured guests on the Sept. 11 Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR. The 49-minute show titled “CMS: Hatian Vodou and Zombies Too!” focused on the practices of Vodou and how it affects so many aspects of Haitian culture.

McAlister Essay Selected for Prominent American Studies Book

Liza McAlister's essay is featured in the book American Studies.

Liza McAlister's essay is featured in the book American Studies.

An essay titled “The Madonna of 115th Street Revisited: Vodou and Haitian Catholicism in the Age of Transnationalism,” by Liza McAlister, associate professor of religion, associate professor of African American studies, associate professor of American studies, has been selected as a “key essay” in the book, American Studies: An Anthology. American Studies is a vigorous, bold account of the changes in the field of American studies over the last 35 years. Through this set of carefully selected key essays by an editorial board of expert scholars, the book demonstrates how changes in the field have produced new genealogies that tell different histories of both America and the study of America. American Studies is edited by Janice Radway.