Forthcoming Book: “Circuits of the Sacred” 

Carlos Ulises Decena’s Circuits of the Sacred: A Faggotology in the Black Latinx Caribbean will be published by Duke University Press in March 2023.

Roberto Strongman (author of Queering Black Atlantic Religions: Transcorporeality in Candomblé, Santería, and Vodou) writes, “A critical Bildungsroman, an autoethnography, a biography, and a biomythography, Circuits of the Sacred is seductive in its personal disclosures. Its vulnerability and nakedness lay bare highly personal material that will endear the book to people of color, immigrants, and queer people. Not since the publication of Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga’s This Bridge Called My Back have I read a queer narrative that has broken through established genre conventions with such boldness.”

Description (Duke University Press): In Circuits of the Sacred Carlos Ulises Decena examines transnational black Latinx Caribbean immigrant queer life and spirit. Decena models what he calls a faggotology—the erotic in the divine as found in the disreputable and the excessive—as foundational to queer black critical and expressive praxis of the future. Drawing on theoretical analysis, memoir, creative writing, and ethnography of Santería/Lucumí in Santo Domingo, Havana, and New Jersey, Decena moves between languages, locations, pronouns, and genres to map the itineraries of blackness as a “circuit,” a multipronged and multisensorial field. A feminist pilgrimage and extended conversation with the dead, Decena’s study is a provocative work that transforms the academic monograph into a gathering of stories, theoretical innovation, and expressive praxis to channel voices, ancestors, deities, theorists, artists, and spirits from the vantage point of radical feminism and queer-of-color thinking.

Carlos Ulises Decena is Professor of Latino and Caribbean Studies and of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University and author of Tacit Subjects: Belonging and Same-Sex Desire among Dominican Immigrant Men, also published by Duke University Press.

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