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Rachel Afi Quinn

Susan J. Rasmussen

Assistant Professor
Comparative Cultural Studies
Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies

Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

624 Agnes Arnold Hall


Rachel Afi Quinn earned her Ph.D. from the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan in 2012, after which she served as a postdoctoral fellow and then visiting faculty in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of Houston. She was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship for 2018-19 and received the 2018 Ross M. Lence Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Literature Arts and Social Sciences. Dr. Quinn’s scholarship focuses on race, mixed race identities, gender, and sexuality in the African Diaspora and she employs tools of transnational feminist theory, including ethnography and visual culture in her research. Her transnational feminist cultural studies scholarship focuses on mixed race, gender and sexuality in the African Diaspora. Her work has been published in Small Axe and The Black Scholar. At University of Houston she has coordinated colloquia on gender-based violence in the South Asian community (2014), the Chicana feminist archive (2015), Black Masculinities (2017). Her first book project, Dominicana-Dominicana, is an interdisciplinary cultural studies text that explores race, gender and sexuality through the cultural productions of Dominican women in Santo Domingo. Dr. Quinn has also worked in documentary film production and distribution; she was a co-producer of the documentary film Cimarron Spirit (2015), which examines the African roots of Dominican cultural traditions. In 2017, she was a co-founder of South Asian Youth in Houston Unite (SAYHU).


  • Ph.D. and MA in American Culture, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.A in African American Studies (concentration in Cultural Anthropology), Wesleyan University, Middletown

Research Interests

  • Transnational Feminist Cultural Studies
  • African Diaspora Studies
  • Critical Mixed Race Studies
  • Race & Visual Culture
  • LGBT Activism in Latin American & the Caribbean
  • Dominican Studies
  • Female Masculinities

Selected Publications

  • “Dominican Pride and Shame: Gender, Race and LGBT Activism in Santo Domingo” to Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism. 56, July 2018.
  • “‘No tienes que entenderlo, solo respetalo’: Xiomara Fortuna, Racism, Feminism and Other Forces in the Dominican Republic” in The Black Scholar (Vol. 45, No. 3). 2015.
  • “This Bridge Called the Internet: Black Lesbian Feminist Organizing in Santo Domingo” in Transatlantic Feminisms: Women and Gender Studies in Africa and the African Diaspora, edited by Akosua Adomako Ampofo, Cheryl R. Rodriguez, and Dzodzi Tsikata. Lexington Books. 2015.
  • “The Combination of the Two,” in Other Tongues: Mixed Race Women Speak Out, edited by Adebe DeRango-Adem and Andrea Thompson, 133-137. Toronto, ON: Inanna Publications and Education Inc. 2010.

Pedagogical Approach

“In my courses, students become active and critical readers and thinkers by getting out of their comfort zones. They examine the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, disability and more. I use film and literature in my courses to teach about the ways identity is both personal and political. I train students in becoming curious researchers, prepared to apply new knowledges and theories. I strongly encourage students to attend on-campus events and engage in off-campus activities, to connect with and learn from their communities within and beyond the classroom.”

UH Courses

  • Gender, Society & Feminist Theory (WGSS3350/ANTH3347)
  • Feminist Theory and Methodology (WGSS6301)
  • Gender and Transnational Studies (WGSS3350/ANTH3347)
  • Brown Girls, Brown Stories: Black Female Protagonists in Novels and Films


  • #Ferguson [A Resource Page] on the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies website.

Curriculum Vitae