What Oxum Learns: The Epistemological Erotic Through an African Source for Dona Flor and Deuses de Dois Mundos

  • Bruce Dean Willis The University of Tulsa
Keywords Literature
Keywords Literature


A myth collected from the Yoruba oral tradition, in which the orixá Oxum interacts with her fellow divinities Exu and Oxalá in order for her to gain the knowledge of divination, informs Jorge Amado’s 1966 novel Dona Flor e seus dois maridos regarding the protagonist’s acquisition of diverse epistemological perspectives, both corporeal and esoteric. Even more directly, the same myth about Oxum serves as the climax of PJ Pereira’s recent trilogy, Deuses de Dois Mundos (2015). Both Brazilian works highlight in this way a specific erotics of epistemology from the African diaspora. 

Author Biography

Bruce Dean Willis, The University of Tulsa
Bruce Dean Willis is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at The University of Tulsa. His research and publications focus on diverse aspects of poetry and performance, and expressions of indigenous and African cultures, in Latin American literature, particularly Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.
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