John L Warfield Center

Baggy Pants, Sequins, & Pumps: The Sexual Politics of Black Masculinity - Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Senior Research Fellow, Department of African & African Diaspora Studies - The University of Texas at Austin

Tue, April 20, 2010 | John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (JES A232)

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM


Department of African & African Diaspora Studies



Baggy Pants, Sequins, & Pumps:

The Sexual Politics

of Black Masculinity



Dr. Rinaldo Walcott, Senior Research Fellow

Department of African & African Diaspora Studies


Tueday, April 20, 2010


Warfield Center for African and African American Studies

201 East 21st Street

Jester Center A232A



This paper takes as its starting point Morehouse’s recent dress code for its students to think through what constitutes proper black public masculine presentation. The paper grapples with the ways in which black masculinity is defined through sexual politics, yet a conversation concerning such politics remains markedly absent from public conversations. It seeks to borrow from black feminist engagement with debates concerning sexual politics to think through the public presentation and the resulting limitations of discourses of the black male body and black masculine performance. The paper attempts to chart the contours of what might be understood as the sexual politics of black masculinity as a way to begin more public conversations about black masculinity and sexual politics akin to those already well established for and by black women.


Rinaldo Walcott is an Associate Professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and the Women’s and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto.  His teaching and research is in the area of black diaspora cultural studies and postcolonial studies with an emphasis on questions of sexuality, gender, nation, citizenship and multiculturalism. From 2002-2007 Rinaldo held the Canada Research Chair of Social Justice and Cultural Studies where his research was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust.


Rinaldo Walcott is the author of Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada (Insonmiac Press, 1997 with a second revised edition in 2003); he is also the editor of Rude: Contemporary Black Canadian Cultural Criticism (Insomniac, 2000). These two editions are credited with opening up the question of black Canadian Studies beyond the field of history. Currently, Rinaldo is completing Black Diaspora Faggotry: Readings Frames Limits, which is under-contract to Duke University Press.  In the Fall of 2010 with co-editor Roy Moodley Counselling Across and Beyond Cultures: Exploring the Work of Clemment Vontress in Clinical Practice will be published by University of Toronto Press. Additionally Rinaldo is co-editing two other editions: with Dina Georgis and Katherine McKittrick No Language Is Neutral: Essays on Dionne Brand forthcoming from Wilfrid Laurier University Press; and under preparation, with Katherine McKittrick The Crisis of Irrelevance: Critical Writings on Sylvia Wynter under review at Duke. As an interdisciplinary black studies scholar Rinaldo has published in a wide range of venues. His articles have appeared in journals and books, as well as popular venues like newspapers and magazines. Recent scholarly articles include:

(2009), “Multicultural and Creole Contemporaries: Postcolonial Artists and Postcolonial Cities” in R. Sintos-Coloma (Ed.) Postcolonial Challenges in Education. Peter Lang.


(2009), “Queer Returns: Human Rights, the Anglo-Caribbean and Diaspora Politics”. Caribbean Review of Gender Studies: A Journal of Caribbean Perspectives on Gender and Feminism, Issue 3, 2009.


(2009), “Reconstructing black manhood or the drag of black masculinity” Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism, No.28, March, p.75-89.


Rinaldo received his PhD. from The University of Toronto in 1996. He was born in Barbados and lived most of his life in Toronto, Canada.

Sponsored by: Department of African and African Diaspora Studies

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