Olivia R. Polk (joint with African American studies, certificate in WGSS) graduated from Williams College in 2016 with a B.A. in Art History, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies, and Africana studies with highest honors.
Before coming to Yale, she spent two years assisting the Editorial Director of Duke University Press to acquire broadly in cultural studies, critical ethnic studies, queer and trans studies, postcolonial theory, art history, and anthropology, among other (inter)disciplines. Her research explores the role of ambivalence, pleasure, and the flesh in the critical interventions of black feminist theory, queer theory, and black queer politics. She pursues that thread of inquiry across a number of objects and archives, including slave narratives, black queer literature and autobiography from the HIV/AIDS crisis, and black contemporary visual culture.
Olivia’s research has received support from the Intersectional, Queer, and Trans Materialisms Initiative and Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies at Yale, in addition to the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly and Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.