Reciting Sites discusses how contemporary ritual practices around death, evoked by living artists, are configured and interpreted in particular sites of the African diaspora, including Haiti, Jamaica, and New Orleans. The book will examine how artists function as cultural workers who make political claims of loss and death through ritual practices. Embracing death/loss as a theoretical frame against the backdrop of contemporary Africana thought, Beasley encourages new possibilities and critical approaches to art criticism. He believes that writers must place themselves in their pieces in order to write effectively, so his book will attempt to incorporate as much of his voice and subjective positioning as possible. Myron Beasley, PhD, teaches at Bates College in the programs of American cultural studies and African American studies. His specific disciplinary areas are cultural studies and performance studies: he writes about and engages contemporary living artists as cultural workers. He is also an international curator and most recently co-curated the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Beasley has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the United States, Morocco, Brazil, and Haiti. Recent essays appearing in academic journals include “Vodou, Penises & Bones: The Cemetery and the Junk Yard as Performance Spaces in Haiti” in Performance Research and “Tribute to the Ancestors: Ritual, Performance, and Same-Gender-Loving Men of African Descent” in Text and Performance Quarterly. He teaches courses including cultural politics, performance, Narrative and the Body, and Critical Theory/Critical Art.
2010 — Book