These slide-illustrated presentations pair the poetry and paintings of Derek Walcott and Romare Bearden; and Aimé Césaire and Wifredo Lam. They explore the mythological imagery of the “Nostoi” (the homecoming of the hero in epic poetry) and the “Nekyia” (visionary journey to the land of the dead). Excerpts from the poems (Césaire’s Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, and Walcott’s Nobel Prize winning Omeros) are paired with the Santerìa paintings of Wifredo Lam, and the Obeah / Conjur Woman collages and watercolors of Romare Bearden. All of the works engage the rich mythologies of the Afro-American and Caribbean diaspora, particularly those associated with the supernatural domains of the spirit, and the rituals of invocation, divination, and possession associated with them.
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Evans Lansing Smith, Ph.D., is Chair and Core Faculty of the Mythological Studies Program at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, in Santa Barbara, CA. In the 1970s, he traveled with Joseph Campbell on tours of Northern France, Egypt, and Kenya. He has taught at colleges and institutes in Switzerland, Italy, France, Maryland, Texas, and California, and is the recipient of awards for distinguished teaching from Midwestern State University in Texas, and the Pacifica Graduate Institute in California. His Ph.D. is from The Claremont Graduate School, and he has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch International (London and Dublin) and a B.A. from Williams College. He is the author of ten books (including a recent volume of poems) and numerous articles on comparative literature and mythology. He has given presentations for the C.G. Jung Institutes in Küsnacht and New York City, the Seattle Friends of Jung, the Modern Language Association, the American Association for the Study of Popular Culture, the Study of Myth Conference at Pacifica Graduate Institute, the Ojai Writer’s Conference, and the Casa dei Pesci at Circeo San Felice, in Italy. His edited volume of Joseph Campbell’s writings and lectures on the Grail Romances was published in 2015, and his edition of the Selected Correspondence of Joseph Campbell is forthcoming. For more, visit www.coniunctioblog.com
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