Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Seminar
Kevin Lewis O’Neill, University of Toronto

On Hunting

A shift in US interdiction efforts has made Guatemala a principal point of transit for cocaine produced in the Andes and bound for the United States. One effect has been a spike in the use of crack cocaine in Guatemala. Another effect has been the proliferation of Pentecostal drug rehabilitation centers. These informal and largely unregulated centers warehouse users (often against their will) in the name of salvation. This talk, deeply ethnographic, details the practice of hunting, or bringing users to rehab, to consider how and to what effect predation underlies pastoralism in but also beyond Guatemala.

About the Speaker

Kevin Lewis O’Neill is an associate professor in the Department for the Study of Religion and the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at the University of Toronto. He is author of City of God: Christian Citizenship in Postwar Guatemala (2010) and Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala (2015). He is currently writing a book on cocaine, Christianity, and captivity in Central America. His essays appear in journals such as Public Culture, Social Text, Cultural Anthropology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, American Quarterly, and Journal for the American Academy of Religion.