Sam C. Tenorio

Sam C. Tenorio

Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and African American Studies
317 Willard Building
(814) 865-5888
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Professional Bio

Sam C. Tenorio (he/they) is an Assistant Professor of African American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in African American Studies, with a subfield in Political Theory, from Northwestern University and a B.A. in History and Women’s Studies (now Gender and Sexuality Studies) from the University of California, Irvine. Prior to his professorship, Dr. Tenorio held a postdoc with the Africana Research Center here at Penn State. He is also an alumnus of the School of Criticism and Theory (’14) at Cornell University.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, he maintains broad research and teaching interests but largely focuses on black political thought and practice, carceral geographies, and black trans and trans of color critique. His first book, Jump: Black Anarchism and Antiblack Carcerality (NYU Press, 2024), offers a socio-spatial account of black anarchism and an alternative theorization of the modern carceral state that emerges in the practice of enslaved people jumping from slave ships during the Middle Passage. His recent essays can be found in South Atlantic Quarterly and Cultural Dynamics.

Dr. Tenorio’s current research is concerned with the analytic dis/placement of blackness vis-à-vis gender in trans worldbuilding narratives.