Valuing culturally affirmative and sex positive epistemologies, Jessany Maldonado has always held an empirical interest in human sexuality research. Having graduated magna cum laude from both Purdue University and the University of Northern Iowa, she earned a B.S. in Psychological Sciences with a minor in LGBT Studies, and a M.A. in Women’s & Gender Studies, respectively.
Her bachelor’s research explored unconventional sexualities, where she examined how human attraction to non-human entities could be considered additional types of queered sexualities in their own right. In contrast, her master’s thesis, entitled “Afro Culture and Performance within the Bar Space,” discovered and analyzed the complexities of Black sociocultural performances within spaces of leisure. From this research, three strong themes rose to the fore: community (kinship) development, migration, and rituals of hospitality.
For her current dissertation research, Jessany is now examining the dynamics of identity, romantic and sexual relationships, and platonic community establishment among Black women-loving women (also known as, Black women who love and make love with other Black women). Designed to create space and opportunity for Black women to talk about self-love and their love for other Black women, the purpose of this project serves to amplify the presence of Black women’s self-narrated experiences in the academic literature. In sum, Jessany has created this project exclusively for and about Black women who love other Black women.
Graduate Student, 2017 Cohort