Jeslyn Miller was a student at Harvard College when she undertook “‘How Shall We Sing the Lord’s Song in a Strange Land’: Cuban Santería in the New York City Diaspora Community.” This study addressed the ways in which diasporic connections to Cuba are articulated and maintained through the practice of Santería in the United States. Dr. Lorand Matory served as the faculty sponsor for this research.
The central subject of this study was fieldwork conducted in New York City, a vibrant center of the religious practice. Through participation in rituals and special events, interviews with members of the religious community, and the collection of textual, photographic, and material data, Miller explored the living tradition of Santería in New York City. Ultimately the goal of this study was to provide a comprehensive history of Afro-Cuban religion in the United States and increase the understanding of how Santería, and perhaps religion in general, changes as it is uprooted from its sacred place of origin, carried in the minds and practices of the Diaspora peoples and planted in a foreign region.