Tanya L. Saunders

Associate Professor 
Center for Latin American Studies
Research Interests

Sociology of Culture, Social Identity (Race, Gender, Sexuality), Critical Queer Theory/Queer of Color Critique, African Diaspora Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Coloniality Studies, Sociology of Art, Comparative Sociology, Political Sociology, Sociology of Music, Qualitative Research Methods, Sociological Theory, Comparative Sociology, Postcolonial Studies

Geographic Expertise

Cuba, Brazil

Curriculum Vitae

Preferred pronouns: They/Them

Dr. Tanya L. 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. As a 2011-2012 Fulbright scholar to Brazil, Dr. Saunders began work on their current project about Black Queer Artivism in Brazil. This is a continuation of their research on race, gender, sexuality and arts-based social movements in Cuba. In 2016 they, and their colleagues at the State University of Santa Caterina (UDESC) and the Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo (PUC-SP), were awarded the Abdias do Nascimento Award for Academic Development, funded by CAPES, Brazil. The grant-funded faculty, researcher and student exchanges and collaborations between the University of Florida, UDESC and PUC-SP from 2017-2019. They were also the UF LGBTQ Affairs Faculty Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Dr. 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. Dr. Saunders’ book on Cuban Underground Hip Hop can be found here, as well as a recently published chapter in No Tea, No Shade: New Writings in Black Queer Studies found here. For those of you who read/speak Portuguese, check out their essay Epistemologia negra sapatão como vetor de uma práxis humana libertária. Dr. Saunders is currently working on a forthcoming documentary short about Black Feminist Activism in Cuba. 

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