Joseph Jay Sosa

Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Teaching this semester

ANTH 2345/GSWS 2345/LAS 2345. Carnival and Control: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Brazil

Every year, Brazilians pour onto the street to celebrate carnival, with its festive traditions of gender ambiguity, sexual libertinism, and inversion of social hierarchies. Questions how this image of diversity and freedom is squared with Brazil's practices of social control: high rates of economic inequality and police violence, as well as limited reproductive rights. Using carnival and control as frameworks, examines how contemporary Brazilian society articulates gender roles and sexual identities, as well as racial and class hierarchies. While course content focuses on Brazil, topics addressed are relevant to students seeking to understand how institutions of intimacy, propriety, and power are worked out through interpersonal relations.

GSWS 1101. Introduction to Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Introduces key concepts, questions, and methods that have developed within the interdisciplinary fields of gender, sexuality, and women's studies. Explores how gender norms differ across cultures and change over time. Examines how gender and sexuality are inseparable from other forms of identification--race, class, ability, and nationality. And considers the role that gender, sexuality, and other identity knowledges play in resisting sexism, racism, homophobia, and transphobia.

Jay Sosa is a cultural anthropologist whose research focuses on sexuality, statecraft, and public culture in São Paulo, Brazil. His current book project, Participatory Desires, examines how demands for LGBT political recognition in media, protests, and government institutions have served as a catalyst for broader shifts in Brazil’s ideological spectrum.

Jay teaches courses on biopolitics, neoliberalism, public affect, and queer theory, as well as identity based social movements, democratization and human rights throughout the Americas.


  • B.A., Michigan
  • M.A., Ph.D., Chicago

Selected publications

  • 2016 Review of Vinodh Venkatesh's The Body as Capital: Masculinities in Contemporary Latin American Fiction. In Masculinities Journal. 6.
  • 2014 “‘Marijuana is a Crime, But Homophobia is Just Fine:’ The Scandalous Logics of Queer Solidarity.” in Queering Paradigms IV: South-North Dialogues on Queer Epistemologies, Embodiments and Activisms.  London: Peter Lang Publications.
  • 2014 "A Tale of Two Rios: Urbanization and Displacement in Brazil."  Latin America/Chicago: Newsletter for the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Chicago.  pp.  3-4.
  • 2014  "Sex Politics Between Anticolonialism and Human Security." In Student Anthropologist 4(1).