Elaine Penagos

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I am a second-year doctoral student in the Graduate Division of Religion at Emory University. My research interests lie at the multiple intersections of religion, identity, and materiality in Afro-Cuban and Latinx religious cultures. I approach the study of religion largely from a cultural context and argue that religious traditions, especially those emerging from African and Indigenous cultures are best understood by the artistic outputs of practitioners, paying close attention to the various forms of art which practitioners create. My work primarily explores storytelling, focusing on the patakis, the mythological stories of West African deities known as the orisha, and using art-based methods such as narrative inquiry and poetic coding in my analysis.