Elena Herminia Guzman is an Afro-Boricua filmmaker, educator, and scholar raised in the Bronx with deep roots in the LES. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Cornell University and is an Assistant Professor in the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department and Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington. Her ethnographic manuscript titled Chimera Geographies: Black Feminist Borderland Performances focuses on the way Black women and non-binary people throughout the African diaspora use ritual performance in African diaspora religion as a means to forge Black feminist borderlands through spiritual crossings. Her work has been published in Feminist Anthropology, NACLA, and Cultural Anthropology's Screening Room.
In addition to her work as a scholar, Elena is also a documentary filmmaker. She is the director of the film Smile4Kime (www.smile4kime.com), currently in production, which is an autoethnographic experimental portrait about friendship, mental health, and Afro-Puerto Rican spirituality. She is also working as an editor and consulting producer for a project called Conjure that explores contemporary articulations of Hoodoo, Rootwork, and Conjure. Her work has been shown at MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, Good Pitch Philadelphia, and Blackstar Film Festival and she has received grants from Leeway Foundation, Independent Public Media Foundation, Velocity Fund, Scribe Foundation, Independent Cornell Council for the Arts, Society for the Humanities, and Haverford College. As a part of her work in film, she co-founded a feminist filmmaking collective called Ethnocine and is a producer of the podcast Bad Feminists Making Films.