Electric Santería: Author Talk & Reading with Dr. Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús

February was a very busy month for the WGSS Program.  We collaborated with numerous entities to bring exciting new scholarship to our UH community.  Electric Santería was no exception.

In collaboration with UH Hispanic Studies, we hosted Dr. Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús from Harvard University who presented her new book and research on the transnational experience of Santería.  Beliso-De Jesús’ presentation provided keen insights in the study of African diaspora religious practices as well as a sophisticated example of transnational feminist scholarship.




Cimarrón Spirit: Documentary Film Screening & Panel Discussion

CimSpirit poster

This February we were excited to collaborate with the HCC Office of International Initiatives, UH Dept of English, UH African American Studies, UH Relgious Studies, UH Hispanic Studies, Arté Publico Press, and the Caribbean Film Series of the UH Center for the Americas to bring film screenings of Cimarrón Spirit, panel discussions, a concert, and conversations to two Houston campuses.  Shout out to Assistant Professor of WGSS and CCS Rachel Afi Quinn for her work on this documentary.

The engaging panel discussion included: Rubén Durán, Director; Xiomara Fortuna, Afro-Dominican singer-songwriter; Dominican studies scholars Silvio Torres-Saillant (University of Syracuse) and Rachel Afi Quinn (University of Houston); with translations by scholar Mabel Cuesta (University of Houston)

The screenings were complemented by talks with Dominican singer-songwriter Xiomara Fortuna and Latina/o Studies scholar Silvio Torres-Saillant

The visit included a special concert by Xiomara Fortuna, and time for connecting with old and new friends.

Interrogating Caribbean Masculinities

WGSS kicked off the 2015-2016 academic year with the lecture “Interrogating Caribbean Masculinities,” renowned scholar Rhoda Reddock on August 27.

Dr. Rhonda Reddock at the “Interrogating Caribbean Masculinities” lecture on August 27, 2015.

Dr. Rhoda Reddock is professor of Gender, Social Change and Development and deputy campus principal of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad campus. She is the recipient of numerous national, regional, and international awards including the Triennial CARICOM Award for Women 2002 and an honorary doctorate from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. She has researched and published extensively in the areas of women’s labour and labour history; feminism and women’s movements; gender and sexualities, environment, development, ethnicity and identity, masculinities, and gender and sexualities. Her books include Women, Labour and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago: A History (1994); Plantation Women: International Experiences, co-edited with Shobhita Jain (1998); Caribbean Sociology: Introductory Readings, co-edited with Christine Barrow (2000); the edited collection Interrogating Caribbean Masculinities (2004); and more recently, the co-edited collection Sex, Power and Taboo: Gender and HIV in the Caribbean and Beyond, co-edited with Dorothy Roberts, Dianne Douglas, and Sandra Reid (2009).

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The presentation sparked a lot of conversations and it is an excellent way to inaugurate a masculinities studies initiative at UH and across other campuses here in Houston.

Watch Dr. Reddock’s lecture below.