Aisha M. Beliso-De Jesús is a cultural and social anthropologist who has conducted ethnographic research with Santería practitioners in Cuba and the United States, and police officers and communities of color affected by police violence in the United States. Her research and teaching span the United States, Caribbean, Latin America, Africana, and Afro-Latinx communities. Beliso-De Jesús’ work contributes to cultural and media studies, anthropology of religion, critical race studies, Black and Latinx transnational feminist and queer theory, African diaspora religious studies, and studies on policing and militarization.
Her first book, Electric Santería: Racial and Sexual Assemblages of Transnational Religion (Columbia University Press, 2015), won the 2016 Albert J. Raboteau Award for the Best Book in Africana Religions. It details the transnational experience of Santería in which racialized and gendered spirits, deities, priests, and religious travelers remake local, national, and political boundaries and actively reconfigure notions of technology and transnationalism. She is completing a book, Zombie Patrol: Policing African Diaspora Religions, which examines the criminalization and racialization of religions of Black and Latinx in the U.S. Beliso-De Jesús has also launched a team-based ethnographic research project on police use of force in New Orleans, funded by the National Science Foundation.