John Mundell

Doctoral Student

John graduated cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010 with a B.A. in Spanish, a B.A. in Latin American Studies, and a minor in African and Afro-American Studies.  He earned his M.A.Ed. in Spanish and Portuguese Education (K-12) from Wake Forest University in 2011, after which he moved to Salvador, Brazil to live and study for three years.  There, at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), he defended his ethnographic research on gay black masculinities in and out of family culture in the city of Salvador, being awarded his M.A. in Ethnic and African Studies.  While at UFBA, he also designed and annually taught a mini-course called “The African American Experience through Poetry,” in honor of the late Dr. Maya Angelou under whom he had a summer reading apprenticeship while at Wake Forest.  He has published poetry in English, Portuguese, and Spanish during his time abroad and here at Berkeley. 

John is in the second year of his PhD where his research interests include black queer and heteronormative masculinities in Latin America and the U.S. and how these are performed in varying contexts of the state, particularly the armed forces, as seen through the optics of ethnography, history, and literature.  Other research interests include poetry and prose of the African diaspora in the Americas, blackness vis-à-vis settler colonial narratives, and diaspora theory in black religion.  His studies and research are being supported by the Regents Fellowship.  This semester, he is serving as a Portuguese graduate student instructor teaching accelerated Portuguese for Spanish-speakers. John is also the Department's graduate student mentor this year for undergraduate majors who participate in the VèVè Clark Institute.