Since the early 2000s, the phenomenon of the “down low”—black men who have sex with men as well as women and do not identify as gay, queer, or bisexual—has exploded in media and popular culture. Snorton traces the emergence and circulation of the down low, demonstrating how these portrayals reinforce troubling perceptions of black sexuality generally.
C. Riley Snorton is an assistant professor in Africana studies and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Cornell University. He received his PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and has received fellowships from Harvard University and Pomona College. Snorton’s research and teaching expertise include cultural theory, queer and transgender theory, Africana studies, performance studies, and popular culture. He has published articles in the International Journal of Communication, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society, and has contributed to several edited collections. Snorton’s first book, Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), traces the emergence and circulation of the down low in news and popular culture. He has also been listed as one of “Ten Transgender People You Should Know” by BET.