Seth Palmer to speak about Mbotimahasaky and the Spirit of Sexual Shame, Monday, March 18th
Seth Palmer, University of Virginia
Dr. Seth Palmer will speak on "Mbotimahasaky and the Spirit of Sexual Shame" Monday the 18th in Macy 110 at 2:30.
The tromba spirit Mbotimahasaky, once a living princess and sex worker, now popularly and provocatively appears in public spirit possession gatherings across northwestern Madagascar. As the spirits of deceased members of the royal Sakalava lineage, Mbotimahasaky is but one of many tromba spirits indigenous to the region that "sit upon" or "live within" the bodies of their human mediums. This talk considers the relationship between Mbotimahasaky and male-bodied, same-sex desiring and/or gender-expansive persons (sarimbavy) that are possessed by her.
Seth Palmer is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology and in the collaborative programs in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto and is currently a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute in African-American and African Studies at the University of Virginia.
Seth's dissertation: In the Image of a Woman: Spirited Identifications and Embodied Interpellations along the Betsiboka Valley, reconsiders the import of spirit mediumship and its idioms in the social worldings of sarimbavy (same-sex desiring and/or gender non-conforming, male-bodied persons) and the spirits that possess them. Seth’s research, which is based on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in northwestern Madagascar, has been published in Transgender Studies Quarterly.