René Devisch, born in Brugge, Belgium, in 1944. Ph.D. from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Professor of Anthropology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
Fellow (1 September 1991 – 30 June 1992)
During my year at the NIAS, I had the opportunity to research healing cults among the Yaka in Southwestern Zaire. Performed as they are at the margins of established order, healing cults unveil and grasp forces and signs very much beyond the level of the spoken word and representational thought. The healing performance is a sensuous praxis in which the body opens itself up to the uterine and basic source of life, foiling the claim of conventional discourse and logic or whatever tends toward mere representation and reproduction. My book-manuscript, as yet entitled The Cords of Life, is with the editor at the University of Chicago Press.