Alvaro Jarrín is an associate professor of anthropology at College of the Holy Cross. They are the author of The Biopolitics of Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Affective Capital in Brazil (University of California Press, 2017), which explores the eugenic underpinnings of raciological thought among plastic surgeons as well as the aesthetic hierarchies of beauty that condense race, class, and gender inequalities in Brazil. They are also coeditor of two edited volumes, Precarious Democracy: Ethnographies of Hope, Despair, and Resistance in Brazil (Rutgers University Press, 2021) and Remaking the Human: Cosmetic Technologies of Body Repair, Reshaping, and Replacement (Berghahn Books, 2021).
At Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Jarrín is working on a new book that examines how gender nonconforming activists craft an active resistance in response to the “politics of disgust” embraced by Jair Bolsonaro, which portrays LGBTQIA identities as a threat to the nation. Travesti and trans activists deploy a defiant visibility that rejects respectability politics and resignifies Christian imagery, provoking visceral reactions in their audience with the aim of reframing debates around sexual citizenship and around gender identity, tethering them to larger aims about racial and economic justice.
Jarrín received their PhD from Duke University, and they have been the recipient of a Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, and a Mellon/ACLS Recent Doctoral Recipient Fellowship. Their first book won the Marysa Navarro Best Book Prize and received an honorable mention for the Michelle Z. Rosaldo Book Prize.