Jafari Allen, Associate Professor of Anthropology, is jointly appointed with the Department of African American Studies, and works at the intersections of [queer] sexuality, gender and blackness – in Cuba, the US, and transnationally. A recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council Sexuality Research Program, and Rockefeller Foundation [Diasporic Racisms Project]; he teaches courses on the cultural politics of race, sexuality and gender in Black diasporas; Black feminist and queer theory; critical cultural studies; ethnographic methodology and writing; subjectivity, consciousness and resistance; Cuba and the Caribbean.
Dr. Allen’s critical ethnography, ¡Venceremos?: Sexuality, Gender and Black Self-Making in Cuba [Perverse Modernities series of Duke University Press, Fall 2011], marshals a combination of historical, literary, and cultural analysis– most centrally, ethnographic rendering of the everyday experiences and reflections of Black Cubans—to show how Black men and women strategically deploy, re-interpret, transgress and potentially transform racialized and sexualized interpellations of their identities, through “erotic self-making.” ¡Venceremos? argues that mutually constituting scenes in Havana and Santiago de Cuba– like semi-private, extra-legal parties of men who have sex with men; HIV education activism; lesbian performance and incipient organizing of women who have sex with women; hip-hop and la monia (US R&B/soul music) parties and concerts; sex labor; cigar “hustling”; and informal Black consciousness raising networks– represent a gravid space for becoming new revolutionary men and women, with new racial, gender and sexual subjectivities.
His current research project, Black Queer Here and There: Movement and Sociality in the Americas, traces cultural and political circuits of transnational queer desire—in travel, tourism, (im)migration, art and activism.