Aisha Beliso-De Jesús

Professor of African American Religions


Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús is a cultural and social anthropologist who joined the HDS faculty as Assistant Professor of African American Religions in July 2009. Since 2004 she has conducted multi-sited ethnographic field research with Santería practitioners in Havana and Matanzas, Cuba, and Miami, New York City, and the San Francisco Bay Area, where she studied travel, religious tourism, return dynamics, and the uses, practices, circulation, and consumption of religious media. In 2009 she won the Stanford University Department of Anthropology’s Robert Bayor Textor Dissertation Award for Outstanding Creativity in Anthropology. The most current phase in this project involves archival research in Cuba and publications on issues of race, gender, and sexuality within Santería religious travel, tourism, and media. Professor Beliso-De Jesús is particularly interested in the role of different forms of media as constitutive of religious-nationalist subjectivities within transnational connectivities; the consumption of popular horror films and religious media; and the uses of internet technologies in the constructions and negotiations of self and other. For nearly 16 years, she has worked with numerous grassroots, public policy, substance abuse, and other nonprofit organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area advocating social justice issues, teen-parent education, and nonviolence for youth of color. Some of her topical areas of research and teaching include: ethnography of transnational religions; African diaspora religious studies; transnational feminisms; anthropology of media and the internet; postcolonial and critical theory; anthropology of the Caribbean and Latin America; media, film, and cultural studies; and race, gender, and sexuality.