My scholarship is transdisciplinary. My record of academic training and teaching is a testament to my ethic of drawing upon the disciplines I need in order to do the intellectual-artistic work I am drawn to, rather than thinking the world through disciplines. I house my work in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies for its capacious interdisciplinarity and the way that it has honored my practice as an artist.
I believe in writing for scholarly and lay audiences and my growing body of work addresses this belief.
Present areas of inquiry in my scholarly work (research and teaching):
1.) Ontological and Epistemological Concerns: I follow the work of Sylvia Wynter closely in order to question colonial epistemological foundations of the hemispheric Americas. I bring her work into conversation with Afro-feminism and Afro-pessimism to challenge some of the nihilism present in the latter. I do this through expanding our ontological visions to consider other cosmologies peoples of the African diaspora live with and inside of.
2.) Performance as Research (PAR) and Performance Studies: I am ever-invested in bridging the ongoing gap between theory and practice, particularly as it is related to dance and performance practices. I am interested in somatic inquiry. I am also interested in what embodiment teaches us about ourselves and the worlds we inhabit. I value the body as a vessel and site of knowing and where good theory is also grown.
I am also trained in performance studies as a way of looking at the world through and as performance. I am most interested in race and gender as performed in specific cultural milieu, meeting geopolitical realities and empire/state formations in the United States and México.
3.) Trans Thought: I pull from the growing corpus of both the institutionalization of “trans studies” and transgender activism to forward a vision for trans emancipation beyond logics of medicalization and pathologization. I am interested in how trans imaginations allow gender as a concept to be more free flowing for all beings.
4.) Decolonial Thought: Since my graduate training with prominent decolonial scholars, I have found a home in decolonial thought for its refusal of the supremacy and racism of Western and Eurocentric knowledge formations. This form of thought allows me methodological, epistemological, and ontological approaches that center the knowledge practices of peoples of the Global Majority so that we are naming the world from relevant analytical perspectives. From here, I enter into conversations with decolonial scholars doing the work of pluriversal thinking.
5.) Black Study: I am most widely read in Black thought. I begin with Black feminisms and forms of Black geographical study while remaining grounded in the global shifts the Transatlantic Slave Trade brought to Black diasporic peoples of the Americas. I situate myself in the reworkings of gender brought about by enslavement as a global phenomena. I also find my work inside of what Christina Sharpe has named “wake work,” particularly as it relates to forms of Black joy and true freedom practices in spite of the ongoing presence of anti-Black violence. I think with Black thought from all disciplines necessary and/or required.
6.) Critical Sexuality Studies: Even in the wake of the necessary criticisms of the imperial travel of queer theory, I am deeply informed by critical queer studies that has attended to the limitations of state logics and government surveillance over our sexualities and sexual practices. I am “wedded” (pun intended) to how non-normative sexualities continue to be an affront to the horrifically violent bio political and necropolitical mechanisms of control and eradication, particularly from queer bodies of peoples of the Global Majority.
Book Project (in process): Trans Ecologies at the End of the Human
The book uses performance inquiry and Black transfeminist biography to re-imagine some of the "submerged perspectives" present in and around Greensboro, NC and San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México. The book situates itself within the pluriversal projects of other decolonial scholars invested in decentering the logos of the OWW or the one-world world. I also use Afro-diasporic and Native/Indigenous cosmologies to analyze how political work by Black, Indigenous, women, and queer people generates lessons for the the pluriverse. The book insists that trans study is a foundational element of pluriversal thought. Finally, the book asks what trans study and other cosmologies do for critical ontological inquiry and resituating how we see "activism."
I have had an extensive teaching career thus far, having taught every grade K-university. Prior to teaching at the college-level, I was a full-time seventh grade teacher. I have taught various academic subjects, dance, theatre, and performance.
At present: I think of classrooms as spaces of pedagogical alchemy. My university classrooms are discussion-rich and student centered, encouraging critical intellectual inquiry with attention to social locations such as race, ethnicity, class, nationality, religion, gender, cognitive and functional diversity, religion, and sexuality as integral practices of situating learning processes and information. In my syllabi, the voices of non-Western and non-white scholars, artists, and organizers are centered as indisputable nexus to practices of knowledge production. I teach skill-building in writing, speaking, and dialogue as methods of knowledge synthesis, integration, and analysis. I ground my students in honing the skills that allow them access to critical thought as a non-elitist project. In this way, I extend the legacy of critical pedagogues that understand pedagogy as the way in which we learn to name our experiences of the world, expanding our capacity to change it by acting as full agents. I base my teaching on premises of Black feminism, trans/feminism and decolonial pedagogy.
Current Course (Fall 2022 )
Black Feminist Thought
(2023) Trans Ecologies at the End of the Human. Publisher TBA (To Be Announced).
(2020) "If Rigor is Our Dream: Theorizing Black Trans*masculine Futures through Ancestral Erotics" in Gender Futurity/Intersectional Autoethnography: Embodied Theorizing from the Margins , Edited by Amber Johnson and Benny LeMaster.
(2020) "Honoring What We Know to Be True: Black Transness-As-Medicine" in The Black Trans Prayerbook, Edited by J Mase III and Lady Dane Edidi.
(2019) "Cuerpos y existencias cotidianas trans* como ruptura, abertura e invitación" en En tiempos de muerte. Cuerpos, rebeldías, resistencias, Editado por Xochitl Leyva Solano y Rosalba Icaza.
My academia.edu page is available here.