The Institute of Sacred Music is thrilled to welcome Adrián Emmanuel Hernández-Acosta as its newly appointed professor of Religion and Literature. Hernández-Acosta joins Yale from Brown University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, where his research centered on the relationship between religion, art, and theory through the study of the extensive artistic catalogue of the Hispanophone Caribbean and its diasporas.
His current book project, Mortuary Poetics: Mourning, Religion, and Art, argues that mourning is a critical and creative practice within Dominican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban writing and visual, performing, and multimodal arts. It examines the crucial role played by mourning in portrayals of African diaspora religions within Hispanophone Caribbean literature and art. In conversation with religious and literary studies as well as Black, Caribbean, Latin American, queer and trans studies, Mortuary Poetics contributes to broader conversations in humanistic study today about how to respond to personal and collective loss in a world seemingly determined to let the lives of so many fall away.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Hernández-Acosta is joining our faculties,” said Professor Martin Jean, director of the ISM. “His scholarship and teaching will bring voices to the conversations here that have been woefully absent. He is brilliant, visionary, and compassionate – qualities our community will cherish and support.”
Professor Hernández-Acosta’s broader interests include the history of poetics through and beyond the Caribbean, care for the psychic life of racialized queer and trans subjects, and literary translation in the Black Atlantic. He has published in Political Theology Network, ReVista: The Harvard Review of Latin America, and Transforming Anthropology, and his work has been supported by numerous grants and fellowships. He earned a Ph.D. in the Study of Religion and an M.A. in Romance Languages and Literatures with a focus on Spanish and Latin America from Harvard University, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. in Religion and Music from Tufts University.
“I am delighted to be joining the ISM and YDS communities,” said Hernández-Acosta. “Their commitment to scholarship, ministry, and public service I find inspiring. With a renewed sense of responsibility, I look forward to research and teaching alongside such dedicated colleagues and students.”
Hernández-Acosta will join Professor Christian Wiman as the second full-time ISM faculty in the area of religion and literature, which is, in turn, enlarged by Professor David Mahan and numerous faculty at YDS, ISM, and around the university who value and contribute to this growing intersection of disciplines.