Alejandro Escalante

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Alejandro S. Escalante

Area of Focus: Religion in the Americas


M.Div., Theology, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York
B.A., Religious Studies, Trinity College

Research Interests

  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Caribbean Christianities
  • African-inspired religious festivals
  • Critical race theory
  • Latin American liberation theologies

Professional Biography

Inspired primarily by Judith Butler’s Bodies That Matter and her analysis of drag and performativity, my current research focuses on gender and sexuality in Ponce and Loíza, Puerto Rico and their respective carnivals. My work seeks to bring together theories of sexuality and racialization by examining the multiple ways festival participants and festival observers mask themselves during carnival. It is the acts of masking and de-masking and their relationship to spirit possession and mounting that I would like to probe à la the late Argentinian queer theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid’s concept of “intersexuality” and its implications for understanding Puerto Rico’s religious festivals.

Selected Publications

“Sacramental Sex/uality,” in Contemporary Theological Approaches to Sexuality, edited by Lisa Isherwood and Dirk von der Horst. New York: Routledge, 2017 (in press).