[PAST EVENT] Anthropology Department Job Talk: Dr. Felipe Gaitan-Amman

February 15, 2016
5pm - 6:30pm
Blow Memorial Hall, Room 332
262 Richmond Rd
Williamsburg, VA 23185Map this location
Magic in the House: tracing the apotropaic in the slave trading hub of the Old Panama (1663-1671).

Between 1663 and 1671, a massive masonry construction located in the port area of the Old Panama operated as the largest administrative center of the slave trade to the Spanish colonies in the New World. Lost to the devastating fire which, following Sir Henry Morgan's sack, burnt the entire city to the ground, this ruined domestic compound has, in time, become an evocative lieu de m'moire embodying the frictions arising among all the culturally anxious social actors for whom the house once served as a shelter, a prison or a home. Reborn as a richly textured archaeological landscape, Old Panama's slavers' house has produced a generous array of material evidence allowing us to follow the intimate logics of human traffic in early modern times. Specifically, this talk will discuss how the convergence of powerful magical and ritual materialities within the limits of the slavers' compound transformed this unique lived space into a spiritually unstable place in which all physical and metaphysical means of protection were possible to use.