Wombs and Alien Spirits: Women, Men and the Zar Cult in Northern Sudan / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$8.37
(Save 68%)
Est. Return Date: 06/23/2014
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$18.48
(Save 28%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.22
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 83%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (19) from $4.22   
  • New (2) from $21.89   
  • Used (17) from $4.22   

Overview

Based on nearly two years of ethnographic fieldwork in a Muslim village in northern Sudan, Wombs and Alien Spirits explores the zâr cult, the most widely practiced traditional healing cult in Africa.  Adherents of the cult are usually women with marital or fertility problems, who are possessed by spirits very different from their own proscribed roles as mothers.  Through the woman, the spirit makes demands upon her husband and family and makes provocative comments on village issues, such as the increasing influence of formal Islam or encroaching Western economic domination.  In accommodating the spirits, the women are able metaphorically to reformulate everyday discourse to portray consciousness of their own subordination.
    Janice Boddy examines the moral universe of the village, discussing female circumcision, personhood, kinship, and bodily integrity, then describes the workings of the cult and the effect of possession on the lives of men as well as women.   She suggests that spirit possession is a feminist discourse, though a veiled and allegorical one, on women's objectification and subordination.  Additionally, the spirit world acts as a foil for village life in the context of rapid historical change and as such provides a focus for cultural resistance that is particularly, though not exclusively, relevant to women.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Wombs and Alien Spirits is a provocative book on women and religion and a valuable addition to the literature on Sudan.”—Victoria Bernal, The Middle East Journal

“Wombs and Alien Spirits is a provocative book on women and religion and a valuable addition to the literature on Sudan.”—Victoria Bernal, The Middle East Journal

Booknews
Adherents to the Zar cult in northern Sudan encounter spirits that are parallels of historically relevant figures in the known human world. Those possessed, usually women, meet aliens who speak about issues confronting their village. Based on ethnographic fieldwork, Boddy's (anthropology, U. of Toronto) study grounds her interpretation of the Zar in observation, anthropological theory, and practice. Cloth edition (12310-3), $45. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299123147
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1989
  • Series: New Directions in Anthro Writing Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 1,267,464
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Janice Boddy is associate professor of anthropology at the University of Toronto.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not about extra-terrestrials

    " 'Wombs and Alien Spirits: Women, Men, and the Zar Cult in Northern Sudan' by anthropologist Janice Boddy is a book with a mostly self-explanatory title (I say "mostly" because it is not, in fact, about aliens). I chose this book as my other alternate reading selection for a course in Anthropological Theory, but don't let that frighten you away! I promise you the book is not dry, as the name of that class would suggest. ..."

    For full review, please visit me (Les Livres) on Blogger!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)