Al Valentín a PhD candidate and Teaching Assistant in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. Their interdisciplinary work puts game studies into conversation with affect theory, Black feminist theory, queer of color critique, feminist science and technology studies and critical disability studies.
They have developed workshops for undergraduate students, given talks at conferences around the country and taught a variety of courses. These courses include Introduction to Gender, Race and Sexuality, Comparative Feminisms (Black Feminist Thought In the African Diaspora), The Gendered Body (Horror & The Grotesque), Introduction to Critical Sexuality Studies, Homosexuality and Visual Culture and Expository Writing. Al’s dissertation considers how the circulation of feelings in gaming alters our perception of humanity within gaming as well as outside of it.
In addition to their academic work, they’re also a poet and artist. Al is a member of Streaks of Lavender, a poetry collective for queer artist and activists. Their writing has also been feature at the New York Public Library’s branches for their #pocketpoem initiative and published online on Raising Mothers. As an artist, they do illustrations and are available to hire. Al is currently working on developing their own video games. Their first title in development is Dissertation Defense, a visual novel game that offers an informative and comical look at the process of dissertating for queer students of color.