Jafari Sinclaire Allen is the Director of the Africana Studies Program; and associate professor of Anthropology, at the University of Miami.

Dr. Allen’s scholarship and teaching seek to open new lines of inquiry and offer new or re-invigorated methods of narrative theorizing in anthropology, Black diaspora studies, and feminist and queer studies. He is a past fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University, and a recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council Sexuality Research Program, Rockefeller Foundation (Diasporic Racisms Project), and the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.

Engaged in ethnographic research in Cuba and the Caribbean for over fifteen years, he has transnational research interests in a number of other sites in the Americas. Recent research has also taken him to East Africa and Western Europe. Currently, Dr. Allen is working on books and other projects that take up Black/queer sociality and various forms of ‘movement’ through the conceptual space he calls “After Revolution / Before Freedom.” This project is comprised of a book forthcoming on Duke Press in 2020– There’s a Disco Ball Between Us: A Black Gay Theory of Living— which is a critical mediation on ‘Black gay habits of mind’ taking up cultural expression and politics since the early 1980s; and a third monograph now in the research phase, Structural Adjustments in the Black 1980s.

Returning to the historical moment “After Revolution/Before Freedom,” Dr. Allen’s third book, tentatively titled Structural Adjustments in the Black 1980s, will trace the emergence of critical Black cultural studies, and Black gay and lesbian cultural and political movements, in the context of Reagan/Thatcher, HIV/AIDS and crack, in the US and UK.

Dr. Allen is the author of the award-winning critical ethnography of race, gender, sexuality and revolution, ¡Venceremos?: The Erotics of Black Self-Making in Cuba; editor of Black/Queer/Diaspora; and the author of the new introduction (“Crucial Palimpsest: Re-Reading Brother to Brother”) to Brother to Brother: New Writings By Black Gay Men, and a number of other publications in, for example: American Ethnologist; Current Anthropology; GLQ; Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society; Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, Nka: Contemporary African Art, Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power; and Handbook of Sexuality, Health and Human Rights, and forthcoming in Annual Review of Anthropology .

A past president of the Association of Black Anthropologists, Professor Allen earned a PhD in Social Cultural Anthropology at Columbia University in 2004, and is an alumnus of Morehouse College and New York University. He taught at the department of Anthropology, and Center for African and African American Studies’ (now Department of African and African Diaspora Studies) Program in Anthropology of the African Diaspora, at The University of Texas-Austin, for six years, and for seven years in the departments of African American Studies and Anthropology, at Yale University, where he was also the Graduate Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. While at Yale, Dr. Allen composed and taught the first queer studies course—only the second at an HBCU— ‘A Genealogy of Black LGBTQ Politics and Culture’, as an adjunct professor at Morehouse College.

Areas of Expertise:
Race, sexuality, gender; Cuba and the Caribbean; diaspora and transnationalism; anthropologies of race, and anthropologies of gender and sexuality; critical cultural studies and social theory; ethnographic methodology and writing; Black studies; social-cultural anthropology; feminist and queer studies.


  1. Lovely to be in the audience at the Museum of Art and Design in NYC sponsored by the Mellon Foundation. You were magnificent, funny and insightful. Thank you. Maxim Thorne

    1. Oh Maxim! I am so sorry to respond so late. As you may have noticed, my web presence is/was outdated and not well maintained. I just logged on to update a bit, to post an open letter to the Morehouse President. Once I figure out how to do so I will send a copy or link to you, perhaps borrowing your experience may help students and faculty figure out a better solution.
      Thank you so much for your note. It would have been lovely to have gotten a chance to say hello. In any case, soon again! stay well.

  2. Man, I can not belief my eyes. I have finally located my long lost Morehouse Big Brother. Jafari, this is Author Johnson from Tennessee. I was a freshman when you were a junior. I would to speak with you. Please, email me at aauthorj@gmail.com

    1. Hey brother! Jut seeing this. Luckily, we now have the Facebook connection. I will work on actually logging in for more than 30 seconds at a time. Look forward to talking to you!

  3. Good afternoon Dr. Allen! I would love to ask you some questions about your time as a student at Columbia. Could you share your email with me? Thanks.

  4. Dear Jafari (if I may), Hoping to invite you to give a seminar (by web, alas) in Scotland, but keep getting a bounceback on my e-mails. If that sounds like a good idea, could you e-mail me at m.a.mills at abdn.ac.uk? With many Thanks, Martin Mills

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