Daniel da Silva


Daniel da Silva researches gender, sexuality and performance through Luso-Afro-Brazilian cultures. He was awarded the 2018-2019 Graduate Fellowship by the Institute of Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and his article, "Unbearable Fadistas: António Variações and Fado as Queer Praxis," was published in the JLS, the Journal of Lusophone Studies, 3.1 (Spring 2018).

Academic Statement

I have taught introductory and advanced undergraduate courses on sexuality, performance, and Luso-Afro-Brazilian cultures. In a transdisciplinary environment, I ask students to engage with literature, music, video, performance, film, and social media through close readings, deep listening, and archival research. These tools provoke a relationship with popular culture that reveals its practice as a site of political subjectivity and knowledge production. Students are made aware of their own everyday actions, from attending concerts to following artists on social media, as interventions and collective practices with a history. I teach Luso-Afro-Brazilian cultures as circum-Atlantic vectors of intimacy and sociality, as global transits of mass media, as repertoires of national heritage, and as repositories of racial and sexual tensions, conventions and transgressions. Through contrapuntal approaches to curriculum and classroom, I contend with the constraints of discipline and canon by offsetting their centrality. Music, video, social media, and film hold conventional archives of literature in contrapuntal tension, revealing bodies and desires that might otherwise go unstudied. Assignments are not only text-based essays and exams, but also visual, aural, oral, and social media projects, provoking intimate engagement with a variety of cultural vernaculars.

The Luso-Afro-Brazilian World offers a productive path through the global south to understanding race, sexuality, and contemporary cultures that resonate across a vast geography and through many different communities. Mindful of the intimacies of human bodies and relationships, I teach sustained critical thought as intervention, the processes of research and investigation as self-care, and the student as activist and artist creating works that make meaning of their lives.