Université de Strasbourg

Dana Rush

Dana RushDana Rush, Ph.D, is a researcher, professor, and curator of African and African diaspora art and material culture. She is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Material Culture at the National Museum of World Cultures in the Netherlands. Previously, she taught African and African diaspora art history and museum studies courses at the University of Illinois.

She has been researching and writing about the religious system of Vodun (Vodun is the traditional religious system in this region organized around a single divine creator and hundreds of spirits) since she first traveled to Bénin and Togo in the 1990s. Since then, her research and writing has been grounded in long-term field research in West Africa (Bénin, Togo) and comparative research in the Americas (Haiti, Brazil, Cuba). Her book, Vodun in Coastal Bénin: Unfinished, Open-Ended, Global (2013), presents Vodun as a cultural synthesis that emphasizes process over product and efficacy over beauty. She has published articles and book chapters in a wide range of journals and anthologies addressing diverse interdisciplinary topics such African-Hinduism, ephemerality and unfinishedness in Vodun aesthetics, and traditional and contemporary Vodun arts. Her most recent Fulbright-sponsored field research (2010-12) sets the foundation for her next project that examines how Vodun material and visual culture along with oral histories serve as critical repositories of slavery remembrance. She is a contributing editor to African Arts and is on the advisory board of Material Religion: the Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief.

As part of her fellowship, Dana Rush is working on the project In Remembrance of Slavery: Tchamba Vodun in Togo (West Africa).

France 2030