Global Queer Research Group: Sexual Politics in the Era of Transnationalism, Diasporas and Postcoloniality

October 3rd, 2013 · Comments Off on

Interested in joining a community of critical queer scholars, artists, and activists?


Then Come to the Fall 2013

Global Queer Research Group Meeting!


Everyone is Welcome!


Wednesday Oct 16th
4:30 to 5:30
Liu Institute for Global Issues
University of British Columbia
2nd Floor Board Room 

The Global Queer Research Group (GQRG) is a student-run group interested in thinking globally queer and queerly global, or those of you who are utterly confused by what each of these terms mean to our academic contexts and everyday lives.

The purpose of the GQRG is to connect scholars, activists, and community members around research and policy issues concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex communities, both locally and globally.

Since its formation in 2011, our group has successfully attracted brilliant scholars and funding to spearhead the project of creating a space and resources for conducting queer studies research concerned with global issues, transnationalism, anti-colonial/imperialism and the politics of citizenship.

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The Erotic Life of Racism: Dr. Sharon Holland

August 31st, 2013 · Comments Off on The Erotic Life of Racism: Dr. Sharon Holland

The Intimate Public Sphere: Thinking Through the Skin
Sept. 23, 4-5pm Liu Institute Multipurpose Room


The Erotic Life of Racism

Dr. Sharon P. Holland
Associate Professor,
English and African & African American Studies,
Duke University

 This talk builds upon The Erotic Life of Racism (Duke University Press, 2012) – a project that specifically interrogates the relationship among African Americanist, Queer studies and Critical Race theorists. It makes a major contribution to these fields by tracing the very thorny question of the place of “race” at the table of ideas in what has become to be known as queer theory. The book is a wholly theoretical project that invests itself in articulating where and when queer theory borrows from critical race theory and how this borrowing also intersects with queer theory’s roots in feminist studies. What I want to think through in this lecture is the how, why and when of the project by speaking specifically to the various theoretical and experiential roads that led me to the work.


Dr. Sharon P. Holland is the author of Raising The Dead: Readings Of Death And (Black) Subjectivity (Duke UP, 2000), which won the Lora Romero First Book Prize from the American Studies Association (ASA 2002). She is also co-author of Crossing Waters/Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country (Duke University Press, 2006) and author of The Erotic Life of Racism (Duke University Press, 2012), a theoretical project that explores the intersection of Critical Race, Feminist, and Queer Theory.

Co-sponsored by Jane Rule Endowment, CSIS, and the Global Queer Research Group, Liu Institute

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Generation Return

April 1st, 2013 · Comments Off on Generation Return

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Workshop and Lecture with Dr. Kale Fajardo

February 21st, 2013 · Comments Off on Workshop and Lecture with Dr. Kale Fajardo

Ethnography in and as Crosscurrents: A Workshop on “Situated Traveling Fieldwork” and Practice

Tuesday, March 12, 2013
5:00-7:00 pm
3rd Floor Board Room, Liu Institute, UBC, Coast Salish Territory
Please RSVP at or Spaces Limited.
Co-organized by the Philippine Studies Series and the Global Queer Research Group at UBC


How can we rethink and re-imagine ethnographic practice and writing in the 21st Century?
How do we keep ethnographic practice and writing relevant to contemporary social justice issues and debates?


Professor Fajardo’s innovative fieldwork that forms the basis of the book Filipino Crosscurrents: Oceanographies of Seafaring,  Masculinities, and Globalization (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) spanned port cities, container ships, and the Northern Pacific Ocean. Informed by queer theory, feminist/queer ethnography, postmodern anthropology, postcolonial Philippine Studies, and transnational Filipino/a Studies and Asian American Studies, Fajardo’s research with Filipino migrant seamen who who work on industrial container ships throws into question homogenous, heterosexual and static notions of masculinity, inviting us to reconsider and decolonize the meanings of heterogenous Filipino masculinities and manhoods, while simultaneously critiquing neoliberal economic development policies promoted by the Philippine State, and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

This workshop is for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are interested and are engaged in carrying out research with mobile and migrant subjects, to think through how one might do this kind of research given changing and fluid paradigms of meaning. This workshop will be a unique opportunity to explore questions on research design and sexual and cultural theory in transnational contexts.


Queering and Transing the Great Lakes:  Filipino/a Tomboy Masculinities and Manhoods Across Waters

Wednesday, March 13, 2013
5:00-7:00 pm
Coach Room, Green College
University of British Columbia, Coast Salish Territory
6201 Cecil Green Park Road

This essay uses a Filipino/a queer, trans (transnational/transgender/transwaters), and postcolonial interdisciplinary approach to examine Nice Rodriguez’s semi-autobiographical fiction in his/her collection of short-stories, Throw it to the River (1993). Based in Toronto from 1988-2004, Rodriguez, a self-identified Filipino/a tomboy writer, addresses themes of migration/immigration, displacement, class/poverty, the U.S.-Marcos Dictatorship, queer desire, love, sexuality, tomboy masculinities in his/her book. In this essay, I address how the Great Lakes functions as a transnational water-based borderzone or crosscurrents space that links Filipino/a sites such as Duluth, Minnesota and Toronto, Ontario, and how these waters are also connected with waterscapes in the Philippines such as the Pasig River and Manila Bay. By engaging Rodriguez’s fiction, this essay also highlights heterogeneous Filipino/a tomboy masculinities and manhoods in the context of Canada and the Philippines. “Queering and Transing the Great Lakes” will be published in a special issue of Gay and Lesbian Studies Quarterly (GLQ, fall 2013 or winter 2014) entitled, “Queering the Middle, Race, Sexual Diasporas, and a Queer Midwest, ” edited by Siobhan Somerville, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Chantal Nadeau, and Ricky Rodriguez.

Events with Professor Fajardo are co-sponsored by:
Green College, UBC
Critical Studies in Sexuality, UBC
Liu Institute for Global Issues
Asian UBC Studies
Global Queer Research Group
Liu Migration Mentor Series

For more information, contact the UBC Philippine Studies Series at

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El Che de los Gays

February 7th, 2013 · Comments Off on El Che de los Gays

El Che de los Gays:
Queer activism and performance in Chile.
Film screening, conversation, and workshop with Victor Hugo Robles.

Victor Hugo Robles is a Chilean queer activist and performer, and also a journalist who has documented the history of LGBT activism in Chile. Victor’s public persona “el Che de los Gays” is a politicized and provocative performance character that emerged to challenge the homophobic and transphobic culture of the Chilean left-wing as well as the reformist agenda of some LGTB organizations. Victor Hugo chooses to embody the intersection of political revolution and queerness to push the political limits of social justice, human rights, and LGBT activism in Chile.

February 22nd, 6:00-8:00pm
“Queering the Revolution in Chile”
Public film screening and presentationVancouver Public Central Library – Alma VanDusen Room
350 West Georgia Street

February 25th, 4:00-7:00pm
“Performance as activism in post-dictatorship Chile”
Film screening and presentation
Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC
6476 NW Marine Drive
Open to students, faculty and the general community.

February 26th, 11:00am-1:00pm
“Performance and cultural memory: Researching activist movements and organizations”
Workshop with Graduate Students*
Boardroom, Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC
6476 NW Marine Drive
* Kindly RSVP to participate in this workshop at or

All events generously

sponsored by The Liu Institute for Global Issues, the UBC Gender Performance Research Group, Critical Studies in Sexuality, UBC Latin American Studies Program, Global Queer Research Group, and the Liu Research Group on Gender and Sexuality in Latin America.

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Lecture and Workshop with Dr. Mel Y. Chen

January 2nd, 2013 · Comments Off on Lecture and Workshop with Dr. Mel Y. Chen

Toxicity Incorporated:

Toxic Assets, Privileged Bodies, and

 the Affects of Toxic Management


Inaugural Guest Social Justice @ UBC Lecture by

Dr. Mel Y. Chen (Berkeley)


Jan. 21, 4-5:30pm

Liu Institute Multipurpose Room

 Appeals to the “toxic” are pervasive today, whether leveraged in a medical, environmental, economic, or social sense. While toxicity is seemingly given transparent responsibility for actual effects in human (often privileged) bodies – the incidence of cancer in those copresent with certain toxic elements in given quantities – it is also, I suggest, performative: consonant with the flexible demands of risk society. Toxicity thus produces both the threatening nature and the externality of proximate objects. The talk proceeds by “following” several seemingly incommensurable discursive and material sites in which toxicity is animated, paying particular attention to the financial entity called a “toxic asset,” and tracking their affective dynamics. Throughout, I attend in particular to the racial, sexual, and economic registers of toxicity, suggesting that they deeply inform toxic notions rather than being incidental to them.

 Mel Y. Chen is Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at U.C. Berkeley and is affiliated with the Center for Race and Gender and the Haas Institute LGBTQ and Disability Studies Clusters. Recent publications include: Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke UP, 2012) Discourse, GLQ, Women in Performance, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Amerasia and examine the complex intimacies of toxins and their hosts, the gendered ramifications of animal representation in cinema, and the interaction between disability and racialized valences of “silence” within political protest.


Social Justice Theory Workshop with Dr. Chen


January 22, 2-4pm,

 Social Justice @UBC, Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice,

Eligibility: Graduate students and faculty carrying out research that has a substantive theoretical component, with an interest in global, queer and critical race theory, affect theory, aesthetics and the “new materialism”…

Workshop spaces are limited so RSVP first-come first reserved

Dr. Mel Y. Chen is Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies at U.C. Berkeley and is affiliated with the Center for Race and Gender, the Institute for Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, and the Science, Technology, and Society Center as well as the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society’s LGBTQ and Disability Studies Clusters. Mel’s earlier work explored the gendered, racialized, and nationalist politics of silence in language theories in order to consider the stakes and workings of linguistic reclamation. Recent publications in Discourse, GLQ, Women in Performance, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and Amerasia (forthcoming) examine the 2007 lead toys panic, the complex intimacies of toxins and their hosts, the gendered ramifications of animal representation in cinema, and the interaction between disability and racialized valences of “silence” within political protest. In Fall 2012, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, was published with Duke University Press in the Perverse Modernities Series. Mel’s new project is a multi-sited investigation of toxicity with regard to the complex intertwinings of sexuality, ability, nationalism, race, and sociality. Workshop TITLE: “Who (and what) is new to Matter?: Reasons for Feral Method” Workshop BLURB: This informal workshop explores the interaction of queer of color analytics and perspectives with contexts of ‘new materialism’ as a way of asking after the ways in which certain theoretical developments might unwittingly perform certain structural condescensions and misapprehensions towards their objects. We’ll also have an open discussion of what we each, in our particular disciplinary contexts, might consider to be ‘feral method’ and ask what its merits and compromises are for our work.

Workshop Event co-sponsored by Critical Studies in Sexuality, the Jane Rule Endowment for Human Relationships

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Dr. Karen Tongson’s talk at UBC and a Queer Karaoke Night

October 23rd, 2012 · Comments Off on Dr. Karen Tongson’s talk at UBC and a Queer Karaoke Night

Karen Tongson is coming to UBC and GQRG is a co-host. I’m also organizing a queer karaoke night in conjunction with the event: Anyone interested in belting out 80’s classics and queer of color aesthetics in action, please contact Dai ( Looking forward to seeing you all.
Latchkey Aesthetics: A Lecture by Dr. Karen Tongson

Dr. Tongson, Professor of English and Gender Studies at USC, will give a lecture at UBC on October 25-26, 2012. Dr. Tongson’s work is at the intersection of popular culture, queer studies, performance, music and literature. At UBC, she will give a talk titled “Latchkey Aesthetics.”

More information with regards to date, time, and venue to follow.

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October 17th, 2012 · Comments Off on CALL OUT! QUEER U CONFERENCE

Fluidity in Queer Identity

As part of Outweek (Feb 4-9), PRIDE UBC, with the support of Critical Studies in Sexualities and The Network: Queer Grad Students, is organizing Queer U, an annual graduate level academic conference on sexualities and genders. The conference centers on bringing the research and work of graduate students and established scholars from across the West Coast of North America and beyond to a broad audience in an attempt to foster understanding and discussion.

This year, Queer U seeks to generate a discussion on the Fluidity of Queer Identity. Who we are and who we will become changes over time – new experiences shaping us as we grow. How people see themselves – their very identity – changes and swerves between defined structures, occasionally pushing the boundaries of everyday understanding. Queer Identity, just one part of many people’s overall identity, is not immune from these fluid movements and, in turn, often helps shape one’s perception of almost anything.

How does one’s Queer Identity shape their view of the world? How does it impact their relationship with their body, their soul or their mind? Their politics? Or how does one’s politics impact their “Queerness”? Is there even such a thing as a Queer Identity and, if it does exist, to what level of influence does it have one one’s life? Queer U 2013 is interested in these questions and more.

This call for papers is open to graduate contributors and established scholars from any department or area of research related to sexualities or genders. Strong Undergraduate submissions are also accepted. All topics are welcome; however Queer U is especially seeking submissions dealing with the following topics.

  •   The (non)existence of Queer Identity and its impact on people
  •   The impact of politics, popular culture and education on Queer Identity or vice versa
  •   Bodies and Queer Identity
  •   International comparisons of identity
  •   Relationships between gender and queerness
  •   Innovative looks into gender or sexuality

    If interested, send in abstract (300 words MAX) to no later than November 20th. The conference is hosted at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

    The Queer U academic panel is open to the general public on Saturday, February 8th and will be immediately followed by a Wine & Cheese reception. 

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Latchkey Aesthetics

October 17th, 2012 · Comments Off on Latchkey Aesthetics

Latchkey Aesthetics 

a public lecture by Dr. Karen Tongson

Thursday, October 25, from 4-6 pm


Social Lounge at St. John’s College

***Jane Rule Endowment for Human Relationships will host a drop-in lunch on October 26 from 11-1, for interested graduate students to discuss their work with Dr. Tongson. If you are interested in participating in the lunch, please contact

Unsupervised, left alone and either fearful or bored, America’s suburban spawn have been called latchkey kids since at least World War II (when the label was purportedly invented to describe kids transiently orphaned by work as well as war). As a scholar of suburban affect, race, sexuality and performance, my work has explored the uniquely trashy, yet delectable confection of what I’ve elsewhere called a “latchkey aesthetics”—the effort at converting cultures of convenience and prefabricated, prêt-a-manger materials into art and performance. In this talk, I will elaborate upon how “latchkey aesthetics” repurposes found pop cultural materials (often from the 1970s-1990s). In performance pieces that feature the latchkey look, popular materials become easily accessible and “re-heatable” through postmillennial digital technologies—a practice that befits individual performers and small collaborations operating on shoestring budgets, and limited schedules for making art (not unlike the absent parents who helped cultivate the aesthetic to begin with).
Of particular focus will be an ongoing project by Bobby Abate (aka “Bobby Service”) and Lynne Chan (aka “Black Waterfall.”) called New Sound Karaoke ( NSK combines live performance, video, internet broadcasting and participatory club nights in various karaoke venues throughout New York, channeling Abate’s and Chan’s earnest investments in karaoke as an expressive and deeply intimate social pastime. Through Chan and Abate’s own vocal performances that mash-up, reheat, and reconstitute pop songbooks from multiple decades, as well as their stylized visual accompaniments, New Sound Karaoke becomes a performative exploration of race, sexuality, reproductivity and the thin line between homonormativity and hipster heterosexuality. By discussing not only what, but how Chan and Abate repurpose analog fantasies, we might be better able to understand the contemporary horizons of post-digital performance
Dr. Karen Tongson is an Associate Professor at USC  in English and Gender Studies. Dr. Tongson’s work on popular culture, queer studies, performance, music and literature has appeared in such journals as Social Text, GLQ, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Novel: A Forum on Fiction, and The International Journal of Communication, as well as in the anthologies Queering the Popular Pitch (Routledge), and The Blackwell Companion to LGBTQ Studies (eds. Haggerty and McGarry). Her first book, RELOCATIONS: Queer Suburban Imaginaries, was published August 1, 2011, as part of the New York University Press Sexual Cultures Series. Dr. Tongson is also a co-founder of the culture industry webzine OH! INDUSTRY (2007-2010).
This event is sponsored by Jane Rule Endowment for the Study of Human Relationships, Critical Studies in Gender, Sexuality, Race and Social Justice, and the Global Queer Research Group.

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Amazing Night with Ari Belathar

September 22nd, 2012 · Comments Off on Amazing Night with Ari Belathar

The GQRG wants to send a big thank you to Ari Belathar for a wonderful night of poetry and discussion!

Thank you to our volunteer discussants, Kerri Mesner (PhD Student CCFI), Dr. Pilar Riano Alcala (School of Social Work), Dr. Juanita Sundberg (Geography, UBC) and Matt Eisenbrandt (Canadian Centre for International Justice).

The event was a great success! Thank you to our co-conspirators The TJN, The Migration Network, and Gender and Sexuality in Latin America.

This night could not have happened without the generous support of our sponsors. A big thank you to the Liu Institute for Global Issues, Latin American Studies, Critical Studies in Sexuality Program, The School of Social Work, The Faculty of Arts and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice.

Thank you again Ari for sharing your passion and voice with us. It was a magical night!

Check out the pictures below.

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