Adrián Emmanuel Hernández-Acosta

Adrián Emmanuel Hernández-Acosta's picture
Assistant Professor of Religion and Literature


Adrián Emmanuel Hernández-Acosta was appointed Assistant Professor of Religion and Literature in the Yale Institute of Sacred Music (ISM) and Yale Divinity School (YDS) in 2023. Immediately prior to his appintment at Yale, he served as a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University’s Cogut Institute for the Humanities and Department of Hispanic Studies.

Professor Hernández-Acosta’s is currently working on two book projects. The first is Mortuary Poetics: Mourning, Religion, and Art, which 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. The second book project is Furies: Poetic Mediations in the Wake of Death. This book analyzes how two queer Cuban poets from the 1940s—José Lezama Lima and Virgilio Piñera—critically drew on Greco-Roman myth to argue with each other over poetry’s aesthetic, ethical, and political mediation of mourning in the wake of death. The book thinks of the Furies—Greco-Roman goddesses of implacable vengeance in the underworld—as mediating figures that appear within the poets’ versed debate.

His 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.


Program of Study: 
Religion and Literature