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Faculty and Staff Profiles

George Brandon

Associate Medical Professor

School/Division

Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education

Department

Office

Harris Hall 201

p: 212-650-5747

f: 212-650-8839

e: ogun@med.cuny.edu

  • Education

    B.A., 1970, Reed College

    M.A., 1978, Ph.D., 1983, Rutgers University
  • Research Interests

    • Basic research documenting New World African-based religious and folk medical systems, in particular herbal and ritual techniques used as therapies for somatic problems, mental illness and disturbed social relationships. Past work has focused on Afro-Caribbean systems: Santeria\Lucumi from Cuba, and the traditional medicine of the Accompong Maroons of Jamaica.
    • Theory and methods for characterizing inter- and intracultural variation in folk, popular and professional models of disease and illness and how this variation affects diagnosis and decision-making in both patients and healers. This has been pursued through: (1) analysis of political-economic, social and cultural factors influencing family planning decisions among rural Jamaican women; (2) developing methods for collecting and analyzing cultural variations in food classifications among recent immigrant populations; (3) examining cultural factors affecting food selection and the prescription and effectiveness of therapeutic diets for obesity, hypertension and diabetes; (4) examining social and cultural factors affecting the diagnosis and presentation for treatment of Latinos with lung cancer; (5) developing a processual model of intracultural variation in Santeria belief, ritual and healing practices; (6) characterizing the intracultural variation between the perspectives of African American spiritual healers and their patients on sorcery beliefs and the diagnosis and treatment of sorcery.
  • Publications

    Articles:

    • Social Structure, Social Stratification and Disease Risk" in (ed. G. Brandon) Health Culture and Society: a book of readings. New York: Linus Publications, 2010: 112-142.

    • ------- with Michelle Weber. "Afro-Caribbean Traditions" in The Medical Manual of Religion Cultural Competence: Caring for Religiously Diverse Populations. New York: Tannenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, 2009: 178-192.

    • 'Orisha' in (ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama) Encyclopedia of African Religions. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA 2009: 503-506.

    • 'Santeria' in (ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama) Encyclopedia of African Religions. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA 2009: 589-593.

    • 'Shango' in (ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama) Encyclopedia of African Religions. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA 2009: 612 – 614.

    • "Getting into the Spirit: an Ethnographic Profile of African-American Spiritual Healers," in (eds. Carol and Melvin Ember) Portraits of Culture: Original Readings. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, revised for 2nd (Electronic) edition, 2008.

    • "From Oral to Digital: Rethinking the Transmission of Yoruba Religious Traditions" in (ed. Jacob Olupona and Terry Rey) Orisha Devotion as a World Religion: the Globalization of  Yoruba Religious Culture. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison 2008: 448-469.

    • "Where Men Are Wives and Mothers Rule: Santeria Ritual Practices and Their Gender Implications" by Mary Ann Clark. Book Review. Journal of Religion, July 2007,vol.87, no.3: 474-475. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    • 'Orisha' in (ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama) Encyclopedia of African Religions. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA(in press.)

    • 'Santeria' in (ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama) Encyclopedia of African Religions. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA(in press.)

    • 'Shango' in (ed. Molefi Asante and Ama Mazama) Encyclopedia of African Religions. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA(in press.)

    • "Santeria" in (ed. Peter B. Clarke) Encyclopedia of New Religious Movements, Routledge, Oxon, 2006: 502-503.

    • "Santeria" in (ed. Molefi Kete Asante and Ama Mazama) Encyclopedia of Black Studies, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks CA, 2005: 426-429.

    • "Sacrificial Practices in Santeria, an African Cuban Religion," in (ed. Joseph Holloway) Africanisms in the United States, Indiana University Press, Bloomington., second revised and expanded edition 2005: 249- 282.

    • "Animal Sacrifice and Religious Freedom: Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah," American Historical Review, 2005, 110, 3: 830-831.

    • "How Elegba Was Born: Memory, Death and Rebirth in Yoruba Spirituality," Contours, a Journal of the African Diaspora, University of Illinois, 2004 Fall 2, 2: 157-173.

    • "Jamaican Maroons," Encyclopedia of Medical Anthropology: Health and Illness in the World's Cultures(eds. Carol and Melvin Ember) New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum and The Human Relations Area Files, Yale University, 2004, vol.2: 754-765.

    • "Hierarchy without a Head: Observations on Changes in the Social Organization of Some Afroamerican Religions in the United States 1959-1999 with Special Reference to Santeria," Archives des Sciences Sociales des Religion, 117 (January- March 2002), Paris: 151-174.

    • "Ochun in the Bronx," in (eds. Joseph Murphy and Mei-Mei Sanford) Oshun Across the Waters: a Yoruba Goddess in Africa and the Americas. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2001: 155–164.

    • "Convince," in (ed. Stephen Glazier) Encyclopedia of African and African American Religions, Routledge, New York, 2001: 101-102.

    • "Healing in African and African-derived Religions," in (ed. Stephen Glazier) Encyclopedia of African and African American Religions, Routledge, New York, 2001: 132-139.

    • "Santeria," in (ed. Stephen Glazier) Encyclopedia of African and African American Religions. Routledge, New York, 2001: 285-290.

    • "Dancing within Two Worlds: Theatre, Ritual and Performance Perspectives on the Santeria Bembe." Proceedings of the First Works in Progress Conference, City University of New York Institute for Research on the African Diaspora and the Caribbean. IRADAC, New York, 2000
    • "Lucumi Divination, the Mythic World and the Management  of Misfortune,"  in (eds. George Brandon and Leslie Desmangles)  "Good Spirit, Good Medicine: Religious Foundations of Healing in the Caribbean ," Thematic section of Anthropologica, the Journal of the Canadian Society for Cultural Anthropology. Anthropologica 54 (2012): 167-188.
    Books:
    • Health, Culture and Society: a book of readings. New York: Linus Publications, 2010.

    • Santeria from Africa to the New World: the Dead Sell Memories. Indiana University Press, 1993.

    • Light from the Forest: How Santeria Heals through Plants. Blue Unity Press, Newark, 1991.
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