Andrea Allen

Assistant Professor; Anthropology and the Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies
JHB, 170 St. George Street, 230H



Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

On Leave from September 2023 to August 2024

Research Keywords: socio-cultural anthropology, diaspora and transnationalism, gender and sexuality, race, religion, queer anthropology, violence, subjectivity, and embodiment

Research Region: Brazil, African Diaspora


Andrea S. Allen research has addressed matters of race, sexuality, gender, violence, and religion in Brazil and the African Diaspora. Through a focus on LGBTQ Brazilians, especially Afro-Brazilian lesbian women, her work explores the effects of marginalization from an embodied perspective. In interrogating the everyday, her research prioritizes lived experiences as an essential locus of inquiry when contemplating the contradictions and dissonances of human existence. Dr. Allen has conducted ethnographic research related to the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, same-sex sexuality, and gender. Her first book Violence and Desire in Brazilian Lesbian Relationships (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) focused on the experiences of lesbian women in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Dr. Allen is currently working on a second book project about LGBT evangelical Brazilians, race, religious identity, and sexual subjectivity.


PhD, Harvard, 2011


American Academy of Religion
American Anthropological Association
Association of Black Anthropologists
Association of Queer Anthropology
Brazilian Studies Association
Latin American Studies Association

Major Awards and Grants

2013, 2016      Ruth Landes Memorial Research Fund, The Reed Foundation
2008                Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education
2006, 2008      Harvard Gay & Lesbian Caucus Research Grant and Fellowship, Harvard University
2004                Andrew W. Mellon Humanistic Fellowship, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


2015    Violence and Desire in Brazilian Lesbian Relationships. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2015. Reviewed by Richard Parker in Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 22.3 (2017): 598-600.

2012    “‘Brides’ without Husbands: Lesbians in the Afro-Brazilian Religion Candomblé,” in Transforming Anthropology 20.1 (2012): 17-31.  Reprinted in Religion, Sexuality and Spirituality, edited by Carole Cusack and Jason Prior. New York: Routledge, 2015.