Dr. Daniel Ìgbín’bí Coleman, PhD (he & they)

Organic Intellectual. Artist-Activist. Black Transfeminist. Critical Pedagogue. Healing Arts Justice Practitioner. 

Atlanta, Georgia, United States

I am transdisicplinary organic intellectual, artist-activist, Black transfeminist, educator, and Black healing arts jusice practitioner. I am an Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State University (since fall 2022) and Affiliate Faculty Member of Africana Studies, also at GSU. Prior to joining GSU, I was an Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2018-2022). I am committed to the decolonization of intellectual, artistic, and organizing labor as tools to critically engage our many worlds. I am invested in how we find ways to survive and thrive in spite of the forces of war-terror-destruction that pervade our worlds and existences. I strive to nurture and co-create paths that value the life of the mind and the material experience of embodiment to ground us in the pedagogical prerogative of naming our worlds as they are and in creating the worlds we deserve. 

I think with my body and I move with my mind, treating all of my work as embodied praxis. The work you will see on this site reflects my knowing that the body can be mobilized as a sacred channel and source of information about the worlds we move in. I am a lifelong artist and therefore never sideline artistic practice and expression but rather, I foreground creative praxes as places from which to know, experience, intervene, and offer to the world. Concomitantly and through integrated praxis, I engage organizing and activist practices not solely as resistances to hegemonic organizations of our worlds, but rather for the many forms of otherwise that we know to be true and possible. 

Where I know from: I am a mixed-Black, queer and non-binary transman and tender radical. I am also a fully ordained and active Lukumí priest of Obatala.  

I center Blackness and the African diaspora in all of my work.  Alongside this love/freedom praxis, I also center Indigenous people  and other people of color. Additionally, I  pour love into all that is queer/cuir, in its many cosmologies. Within this vision, I  remain an open collaborator on artistic, intellectual and justice projects, primarily in the U.S. South and in Abya Yala (aka Latin America). 

Scholarly Praxis

I have a PhD in Performance Studies from the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2017). 

I received my MA in Theatre Arts from San José State University in 2011, a Bilingual (Spanish), Crosscultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD) K-8 credential from NHU in 2010, and a  BA in Latin American Studies from California State University, East Bay in 2008. 

My forthcoming first book (March 2024) with the Ohio State University Press, Refusals and Reinventions: Engendering New Indigenous and Black Life Across the Americas is a “decolonial pedagogical” project that moves between the U.S. South (with an emphasis on North Carolina) and the Mexican South (with an emphasis on Chiapas). Its primary theoretical lenses of analysis follow specific lineages of Black feminisms, trans feminisms, and decolonial feminist thought as well as onto-epistemic interventions from Africana and Native/Indigenous studies. Refusals and Reinventions follows in the lineage and genealogy of decolonial scholars that I trained under at Duke University while a graduate student of UNC Chapel Hill, particularly Catherine E. Walsh and Walter D. Mignolo, and the scholars thinking with them. I also understand decolonial scholarship and my citational practice to include people whose only work exists in Spanish, for instance, and who are located in Abya Yala (Latin America). I locate my scholarly work in this first book as a descendant of the coloniality/modernity working group that was started between scholars at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University in the early 2000s. Their work challenged the hegemony of U.S. and European academies and their attendant epistemological ethnocentrisms and elitisms. My work continues to do this through its emphasis on the existence of the pluriverse. In that vein, the “decolonial pedagogical” matrix that holds the book together, borrowing this theorization from Walsh, refers to work and theorizations that are inductive to what people learn through refusing the various violences of dominant orders (for subjects who fall outside the bounds of political and social hegemony). My book is directed to people of all genders who are Black/Afro-descendant and/or Native/Indigenous who believe in the spiritual-political leadership of cisgender women and transgender people. It is also for those who see their freedom as bound up in ours.

The book uses four “case studies,” one per chapter, of specific artistic and political projects and/or actions located in the U.S. and Mexico, that, I argue, contribute to the production of pluriversal consciousness/worlds and re-writing ontological and epistemic realities for Black and Native/Indigenous peoples. I use these case studies to demonstrate how the creative work of people who refuse the stranglehold of totalizing forces does the spiritual-political work of creating forms of being, existence, and knowledge that are otherwise written out of the dominant paradigm of humanity. More on this and my other areas of interest/inquiry under Scholarship

Artist Praxis

I am a performance artist, installation artist, dancer and choreographer. 

I had a childhood pre-professional career in dance where I trained and performed for eighteen years in classical ballet (primarily Cecchetti with some Vagonava), modern dance (primarily Graham and Limón with some Horton), and contemporary ballet and modern fusions. I also studied Russian character dance, and Spanish flamenco. At the end of my childhood training, I also trained and performed in semi-professional performance salsa. Today I most enjoy modern dance, Orisha dance, salsa and Latin dance fusions, and West African dance. 

I went on to politicize my artistic practice, developing and training in dance-theatre for social justice and radical performance art. The combination of these artistic experiences has led to my practice today. 

Today: I articulate my body as a physical medium for story sharing, transfer, and as a container for larger social bodies. Through physical movement and intentional stillness, I use embodiment practices as a form of artistic mediumship to both channel and transform energies surrounding the social-political landscapes in which I traverse. I create experiences of ritual that require rigorous engagement with the performer and with fellow witnesses, inviting audiences to leave with traces and hauntings that welcome other modes of being in the world and in relation to one another.  I am deeply invested in caring for my  body and those of his audiences through all of my work. 

I have worked as a performance artist as a member of collectives and duet projects (including three years as a core troupe member of La Pocha Nostra).  As a performer and artistic pedagogue, I have taught and performed in various institutional and autonomous spaces throughout México, the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Costa Rica, Brasil, Colombia, Spain, France, Portugal, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Poland, and Estonia. 

Towards Other Worlds 

Historically, my work in community has been grounded in accompanying and/or being inside of processes aligned with abolition, transfeminism, Black liberation, freedom of movement, LGBTQ+ liberation, and decolonization (as ongoing and incomplete processes) situated in local-global struggles for dignified existence. Rather than frame this work through the lens of "justice," because of its  relationship to laws and state recognition, I imagine this work as being in the service of bringing the plurality of our worlds into fruition. I also imagine this work to be participating in the undoing the violent legacies of liberal humanism.  

Internationally, I have collaborated with feminist organizers and organizations in the context of Chiapas, México to stage public interventions to denounce feminicide and transfeminicide violence met with impunity. The work involved designing rituals for public mourning that simultaneously held the state accountable. I also helped shape and initiate the first major coalition among lesbian and trans/feminists in the state of Chiapas, México. 

In the context of the U.S. South, I have worked with organizations trying to end the criminal system of money bail that keeps Black and brown people disproportionately imprisoned. This work is part of a larger strategy of the long-vision of abolition. 

The lessons of organizing towards the livelihoods that we deserve and countering the cisheteropatriarchal global capitalist system are part of the heartbeat of my way of thinking and being in the world. 

Presently, (2020, onward), I now understand my role  as one of a healing practitioner for all those striving to make our worlds what they could/should be, journeying towards a life with dignity. I use movement healing work to accompany processes of bodily emancipation for those in my communities. It is part of how I serve my people. In the near future, I will also be offering spiritual readings to help guide others in their processes of healing and transformation. 

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