ALARI Seminar Series with Tanya Saunders: Black Brazilian Artivists’ Epistemic Challenges to Coloniality of Affect  


Friday, March 11, 2022, 12:00pm to 2:00pm

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This presentation has three goals: First, to illustrate the epistemological interventions of Black Brazilian queer artivists in theories of Black liberation through naming and defining their sexual-dissident-subjectivities and the affective modes they engender, such as the feeling of solidão (solitude). Second, to contribute to efforts to decolonize the academy in the Americas more broadly, by pointing to the emergent Black queer archives and repertoires that Black queer artivists are intentionally producing outside of the Brazilian academy. And third, to highlight how, why, and where Black queer theory is being produced in Brazil, in order to avoid crediting privileged (in this case, white mestizo) actors within the Brazilian academy for the intellectual production of Black queer theorists who generally do not have access to the transnational academic sphere. 

Tanya L. Saunders is Associate Professor at the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. In residence as a Mark Claster Mamolen Fellow for Spring 2022, Saunders will be at work on Estéticas do Bapho: Queering Black Brazilian Artivism and Politics of Liberation. Saunders is a sociologist interested in the ways in which the African Diaspora throughout the Americas uses the arts as a tool for social change – specifically through decolonizing systems of thinking and knowing in the Americas.  As a 2011-2012 Fulbright scholar to Brazil, Saunders began work on their current project about Black Queer Artivism in Brazil.  Saunders holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Master of International Development Policy from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. They were also a co-recipient of two Abdias do Nascimento Awards funded by CAPES in Brazil. Dr. Saunders’ 2015 book entitled Cuban Underground Hip Hop: Black Thoughts, Black Revolution, Black Modernity was published by the University of Texas Press.  The Portuguese version of the book was released a few weeks ago by Editora Editus as Modernidade Negra: hip hop, artivismo e mudança social em Havana.  They are also the director of the film project entitled Afro Feminismos em Cuba which is currently streamed on YouTube. They have published and lectured extensively throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

In collaboration with Brazil Studies Program at DRCLAS. 



tanya_saunders_seminar_flyer.pdf1.06 MB