Shamara Wyllie Alhassan

2023 Crossroads Arts Fellow


Shamara Wyllie Alhassan is a writer, documentary filmmaker, and transdisciplinary Africana Studies scholar of religion, intellectual history, and gender theory. A long-time transnational ethnographer focusing on Africana women's radical epistemologies, she centers the ways Rastafari women build Pan-African communities and combat anti-black gendered racism, religious discrimination, and racial capitalism in the Caribbean and Africa. Her forthcoming book tentatively titled, Re-Membering the Maternal Goddess: Rastafari Women's Intellectual History and Activism in the Pan-African World is winner of the National Women's Association and University of Illinois Press First Book Prize. She is the co-editor, with Dr. Julia Jordan-Zachary, of the book, Black Women and Da Rona: Community, Consciousness, and Ethics of Care (University of Arizona Press, 2023). Her published work appears in Callaloo, the National Political Science Review, Religions, The Black Scholar, and IDEAZ journal. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies with a focus on the Black Experience in the Americas in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.


Crossroads Arts Fellows Project

Balanced Livity

Balanced Livity is a transnational documentary film that tells the story of Rastafari women’s fight for gender balance within the Rastafari movement. The film centers Rastafari communities in the Caribbean and Africa discussing a broad range of issues from religion and slavery to gender justice and repatriation. Featuring repatriations gendered archival trails through the contemporary reflections of continental African and African Diasporan Rastafari communities, the film departs from narratives that would define the movement as a solely Jamaican male phenomenon.