Principal Faculty

fahima ife
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
    • Digital Arts and New Media
  • Affiliations Music Department, Literature Department
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Remote work location, TBD
  • Office Hours Spring 2024 (Fridays 2:00-4:00pm, virtual by appt)
  • Mail Stop Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Courses CRES 113 Music + Performance, CRES 188B Topics in Black Studies: Pleasure, CRES 190A Critical Race Feminisms, CRES 101 Research Methods

Research Interests

I study Global African Aesthetics. I explore long-term inquiries on motifs of fugitivity, love, wellness, pleasure, spirituality, sensuality, and ritual as expressed in music, literature, film, performance, and visual art of the African Diaspora. As a poet, I am gone most of the time, but aware of the fact I have been continuously studying the aforementioned areas for the past fifteen years. As a bird, I tend to home in certain timeframes including the 2nd-7th centuries, the 10th-15th centuries, and the 17th-22nd centuries — I keep returning on a mission to raise our collective vibrational frequency on Earth by rephrasing the major myths of before. Or, how we sound, what we sound, what we say about our experiences on Earth. I want to sing a song that sends us back to our primordial hum, when I get there I want to keep vibrating. In current work, I am flowing in daily energetic practices of "sensual blackness" based on my compulsion to consistently choose black attunement, and to consistently get lost in the possibilities of cosmic black intimacy (having everything and nothing to do with race). I think, feel, listen, and create, sonically. I love engaging with multigenre contemporary art and collaborating with practicing artists. I produce poetry, essays, fiction, and perform on occasion (quand est ouvert). I am at work on a poet's novel, a third poetry collection, a book length lyrical essay, and music. 

Biography, Education and Training

fahima ife (b. San Bernardino, CA, 1983) is a Black Latina poet, mystic, and professor whose family has lived in the Americas and Caribbean for hundreds of years. She studied Psychology at California State University San Bernardino, because she wanted to become a sex therapist. After college, she moved across the country to Atlanta, made a bunch of grassroots artist friends, became a substitute teacher. She attended Emory University, where she studied liberatory Education methods and activism, became friends with a whole new set of humans, taught middle school English and History for a couple years, and decided to pursue a doctorate. She attended the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she thought deeply about language (orality & literacy), made more friends, partied a lot, fell into the depths of the African diaspora, and earned her Ph.D. in Languages, Literacies, and Cultures. She taught in the department of English at LSU as an assistant professor for 6 years, made more friends, lived in New Orleans, went through a process of initiation with her Yoruba and Taíno ancestors, became vapor. In 2022, she accepted an offer of associate professor in the department of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UCSC with an emphasis in Black Studies. 

Selected Publications

Septet for the Luminous Ones (Wesleyan University Press, 2024)

abalone (Albion Books, 2023)

"alchemical sirens" (The Kenyon Review, 2023)

"communicado, two sips" (Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, 2023)

"our general banality" (American Academy of Poets, Poem-A-Day, 2022)

"a run // on black study" (Research in the Teaching of English, 2022)

"grief aesthetics" (liquid blackness, 2022)

"i believe in echoes" (ASAP/J, 2021)

Maroon Choreography (Duke University Press, 2021)

"skilled black hands braid geometric insignia as poetry" (Air/Light, 2021)

"2 poems" (Interim Poetics, 2020)


Teaching Interests

I teach undergraduate and graduate courses that explore Global African Music, Cannabis Aesthetics, Black Poetry and Poetics, Creative-Critical Research Methods, Land-Based and Somatic Rituals, Emotional and Mental Wellness, and the spiritual/creative uses of Entheogens in building sustainable communal futures. My classes are experimental, performative, and intentionally elusive. I use radical teaching methods that attempt to breakdown hierarchy, encourage collaboration, and push beyond the limits of what a "college" or "graduate" course can accomplish. I deemphasize grading, and do not include quizzes, tests, or traditional written assignments as measures of student understanding, but I do encourage students to maintain a daily notebook or a record of daily voice memos to inform their research and creativity. My classes radically emphasize storytelling and personal discussion, self-care, and push students to cultivate rituals of healing, recovery, and restoration. The grounds of my instruction is based in historic practices of Black Fugitivity, so we spend a lot of time co-creating and being within various "clearings" .. "hush arbors" .. "midnight schools" .. we are inclined to "steal away" when no is looking, often into a mythic "dance party" .. "forest party" .. "house party" in the wake. If you do not know what any of the previous quotational means, if you want to experience "black study" .. if you are open, I encourage you to enroll in my classes.