Published: May 2, 2016

On February 11, 2016, Professor Martin Manalansan IV, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, delivered a lecture at CU-Boulder to a standing room only crowd with HALE 230, seating 85, packed to capacity.

Professor Manalansan’s talk, “(Un)moved: The Paradoxes of Disaffection among Undocumented Queer Immigrants,” examined the everyday experiences of six working class undocumented queer immigrants of color living in a cramped and messy apartment in New York City. Engaging in an ethnography of affect and the senses, his work on the quotidian struggles of undocumented queer immigrants in the US drew attention to the paradoxical, incoherent, and messy daily maneuvers these subjects perform as they struggle with social exclusion, squalor, and daily survival. Focusing on theoretical tensions within queer studies, such as normativity and antinormativity, order and disorder, precarity and fabulosity, Professor Manalansan’s theorization of queer as mess provided a window into the role of affective performances and bodily techniques for those living messy and seemingly impossible lives in the margins.

The talk was hosted by the Department of Women and Gender Studies and co-sponsored by the Center for Asian Studies as part of its seminar series on the theme, “Transcultural Asia.”

Written by Emmanuel David, Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Asian Studies