John Mundell

Postdoctoral Fellow, AFAS
Ph.D., African American & African Diaspora Studies, University of California, Berkeley
research interests:
  • Race and sexuality in Latin American, Caribbean, and Lusophone African literature and popular culture.
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    contact info:

    • Office: McMillan Hall 231

    mailing address:

    • MSC 1109-0137-02
    • One Brookings Hall
    • St. Louis, MO 63130
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    John Mundell is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of African and African American Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. His research and teaching are centered on race and sexuality in Latin American, Caribbean, and Lusophone African literature and popular culture, particularly on how national narratives of race mixture align blackness to queerness when imagining national progress based on ideals of whiteness and heteronormativity.

    During the fellowship, he will transform his dissertation into a book titled Longing for a Racial Democracy: Race, Sex, and Popular Culture in Brazil. As a black queer studies and critical whiteness project, the manuscript demonstrates how the ideology of racial democracy in Brazil is produced, recited, and reworked through cultural production over the twentieth and twenty-first century, ranging from literature, telenovelas, and samba music, to comedy films, internet pornography, and memes. Mundell's scholarly work has been published in Luso-Brazilian Review and Latin American & Caribbean Ethnic Studies, he has worked as a translator for several peer-reviewed academic journals, and he has taught courses on blackness in Latin American and Caribbean visual culture, race in Brazil, and critical whiteness. He co-founded and co-directs the multi-institutional Blackness in Latin America and the Caribbean working group, or BLAC, that serves as a writing and co-mentorship hub for junior scholars in and out of academia who are working at the intersection of black studies and Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx studies.

    Dr. Mundell earned his Ph.D. in African American and African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley with a designated emphasis in Women, Gender & Sexuality. Previously, he lived and pursued graduate education in Brazil and is an enthusiastic supporter of study abroad for students, having also studied in Ecuador and Argentina during his undergraduate career. In addition to his love of travel and learning languages, he is an avid chef and baker and is slowly developing a cookbook.