Spotlight! Symposium: We've Always Banked on Survival
The History of Hoodoo and Climate
This presentation by Hess Love starts with the origins of Hoodoo during the era of chattel slavery, highlighting its significance as a means of protection, empowerment, and survival for marginalized communities. Hoodoo practitioners integrated botanical medicine, weather observation, more-than-human mythos, and elemental forces into their practices to build livelihoods that honored place-based intangible heritage. Hoodoo was born as a cultural, social, material, and spiritual medicine to adapt to various forms of climate disaster that occurred as a result of colonialism and colonial human trafficking. This talk will center the importance of earth reverence and collective action within Hoodoo, showcasing how shared knowledge and traditions continue to foster resilience and uncover injustices in the face of environmental and social harms.
This is the fourth in a series of six lectures, Beyond the Veil: Making Sense of the Spirit World, the fall 2023 Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery Spotlight! symposium. The symposium presents speakers who explore themes from the Special Collections’ Eileen J. Garrett Parapsychology Foundation collection, such as the history of human interaction (beliefs and practices) with supernatural, paranormal, mystic, and psychical phenomena, as well as the interaction of race, spiritualities, magic, mysticism and feminist expression with the otherworldly.
Hess Love is an archivist, ethnoecologist, storyteller, healing artist, poet, and playwright. They are currently an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at Wilkes University and pursuing certification as a Master Naturalist. As a co-founder of the Chesapeake Conjure Society, Hess’ creative and community work as a Hoodoo historian lives at the crossroads of culture and environment. Their work is rooted in advocating for communal ways of knowing from systemically discredited people through material mutual aid, spiritual liberation praxis, heritage preservation, cosmovision, and place-based practices in the Chesapeake Bay area.