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Ama Mazama, associate professor in the African American Studies department at Temple University, will speak on “Vodou as a Religion” 7:30 p.m. today in the Kirby Hall of Civil Rights auditorium.

The free event is sponsored by the religion department through the Lyman Coleman Fund.

Mazama is the author of Language and Identity in Guadeloupe: An Afrocentric Perspective, which focuses on issues of language and empowerment in Guadeloupe, a French Caribbean colony, where she was born and raised. The book focuses on the political and economic aspects of decolonization.

She translated the book Afrocentricity by Molefi K. Asante from English to French (1999), and has had articles published in Haiti, Guadeloupe, Guinea, France, Canada, Germany, Japan, and Holland. Mazama has written for the Nieuwe West-Indische Gids on “What History Tells Us About the Development of Creole in Guadeloupe,” and Journal of Black Studies on “Afrocentric Approach to Language Planning.”

Mazama is a linguist and expert on the Caribbean world, particularly the Eastern Caribbean. Before coming to Temple in 1993, she taught at University of Texas at Austin and Penn State University and was a visiting professor at Howard and Georgetown universities. She earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from University of La Sorbonne, Paris, in 1987.

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