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Meet Associate Professor Kwame Edwin Otu

Published March 31, 2017 in Faculty

As a pre-doctoral fellow in the Carter G. Woodson Institute last academic year, Kwame Otu coordinated the African Studies Colloquium Series at the University of Virginia. His research transects issues of sexual citizenship, gender, human rights NGOs, and neoliberal racial formations in postcolonial Africa, traversing the anthropology of Africa, race, gender and sexuality, queer of color theorizing, critical human rights studies, revolutionary forms of blackness and black aesthetics, and Afrofuturist practice.

The study of race in postcolonial Africa is central to Otu’s work, as are critical inquiries about race in the African diaspora. Otu completed his Ph.D. in cultural anthropology at Syracuse University (2016). In addition to his academic work, Otu has collaborated with Akosua Adoma Owusu, the award-winning Ghanaian-American filmmaker, to produce the film, Reluctantly Queer. It premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival earlier this year and was featured as part of the New Director New Films series held under the auspices of the Film Society Lincoln Center and MoMA.

Otu is working on a book project, which is an ethnographic investigation of how self identified effeminate men (sassoi) navigate homophobia and the increased visibility of LGBT human rights politics in postcolonial Ghana, titled Amphibious Subjects: Sassoi and the Contested Politics of Queer Self-Making in Neoliberal Ghana.

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