Kai Small

Kai Small headshot
Non-Tenure Track Instructor, Critical Theory and Social Justice
B.A., Occidental College; M.A., University of California, San Diego; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego (in progress)
Appointed In: 


Kai Small is a multimedia scholar that teaches courses in black studies with a focus on black feminist theories, trans/queer black studies, and the intersections between black and indigenous studies.

Their interdisciplinary work situates black gender and sexuality in relation to violence, geography, and popular culture. As well, their research and courses both interrogate multimedia forms such as film, social media, literature, art, and movement, as well as encourage students to use these forms to think through interlocking structures of power. Their current research project foregrounds black transfemininity as a key modality of black life and the distribution of black death. The project situates the conditions that brought about the early deaths of black transfeminine youth alongside acts and structures of antiblack violence in the Americas including the crisis of Hurricane Katrina (New Orleans, LA) and the 2010 Tivoli Incursion (Kingston, Jamaica), while also exploring various gestures and expressions of black life and objection that evoke the centrality of black transfemininity to blackness itself.