The African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association (ADRSA) presents its fourth day-long conference on the theme The Divine and the Digital: African and Diasporic Ritual Technologies. Though it has contracted considerably in recent years, “technology” is an expansive and multifaceted term referring to “the science of the crafts of the hand,” and denotes any created item or process that is employed toward a useful end. African and Diasporic religions (ADR) are rife with technologies both ancient and modern from divination tools, to ceremonial dress, to processes for healing, invoking and communicating with spirit, and much more. As well, newer technological processes and items such as social media, smart phones, voice over internet protocol (VOIP) and the Internet itself have become actors in the practice of ADR and have affected the practice in both expected and unanticipated ways. This conference will explore these intersections of technologies and ADR.


Keynote Address & Book Signing by

Robert Farris Thompson Author of Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Religion and Philosophy, celebrating 33 years of publication


Opening Plenary by

Aisha Beliso De Jesus
Author of Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion

With a screening and discussion of

Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil followed by discussion with director/producer Donna Roberts during our Saturday Film Festival

 Previous Conferences






Conference Venue
Harvard University
CGIS South Building
1730 Cambridge Street
Lower Level
Travel to Boston


The nearest airport is Boston Logan International (BOS) and Boston is easily accessible via ground transportation from many nearby cities including New York, Newark, NJ and Hartford, CT  via:

Amtrak
Greyhound
Megabus
Bolt Bus
Peter Pan

Lodging in Boston

AirBnB
Connect with local people renting rooms or entire apartments. The most economical way to stay close to campus

Best Western Hotel Tria
Approximately 10 minutes from the venue by free shuttle

40 Berkley Street Hostel
Approximately 20 minutes from venue by public transportation, 10 minutes by car/taxi

Hostelling International Boston Approximately 30 minutes from venue by public transportation, 15 minutes by car/taxi

Super 8 Motel - Watertown
Approximately 25 minutes from venue by public transportation, 10 minutes by car/taxi

La Quinta Inn & Suites Boston & Somerville
Approximately 15 minutes from venue by car/taxi

Buckminster Hotel
Approximately 30 minutes from venue by public transportation, 15 minutes by car/taxi