Grad Student Lau Malaver
Ph.D. Student
Critical Race and Performance Studies

Office Location: Ketchum 355

Pronouns: they / them / theirs



M.A., University of Colorado Boulder - Educational Foundations, Policy, and Practice, 2018
B.A., University of Colorado Boulder - Spanish Language & Literature, Humanities, and Ethnic Studies, 2015

Research Interests

Critical race and cultural social theory, queer and trans of color critiques, performance studies/theory, women of color feminisms, Black queer studies, and de/post/anti-colonial theory

Lau is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies with cross-disciplinary training in Performance Studies and Women & Gender Studies. Their research focuses on how trans of color and queers of color negotiate their/our identity and embodiment across time and space, and the performance practices of resistance, refusal, and joy that result. Lau's dissertation, Recovecos: Race, Time, and the Performance of Trans Embodiment, investigates 21st century trans and queer cultural productions in the Américas, and analyzes how minoritized trans and queer scholar-artists use visual, digital, and embodied art to negotiate their relationship with the historical present and trans futures alike at the site of their own embodied experience. Lau examines this relationship through the theoretical framework they term Recovecos (Spanish for nooks, hidden turns, twists). Recovecos examines the ways that trans and queers of color embody multiple realities and exceed colonial reality’s limitations across space and time. Lau's doctoral work seeks to offer insightful critiques and theoretical interventions in the emerging and promising field of trans of color studies/critique as their work proposes a multi-dimensional analysis of power, an in-depth approach to the crucial junctures of colonialism, time, and racial formation, and a practical decolonial offering for and not against trans life. Lau is also a performer and fiction writer.

Featured Publications and Performances

Pulsing Equis (2021, October 29). Collaboration with Shawn Trenell O'Neal, Recorded Performance in Untitled Creative Fusions “The Spirit Survives” event by Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO.

Convener and Facilitator of Twists, Nooks, and Turns: Creating New Grammars of Collective Memory, Intimate Architectures: Displacement, Irruption, and Emergency in the Americas, Hemi Graduate Student Initiative (GSI), New York University Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. University of Chicago, Illinois (2021). 

ABSCONDED #EjectionDay2020. Directed, written, and performed by Dragonfly (Robin LaVerne Wilson). Produced by HemiTV. New York City, NY. November 3, 2020.” In Ecumenica: Performance and Religion (2021).

“‘I’m la porqueria’: Reading Affective Embodiments in Vida.” In ASAP/J: Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Journal (2020).

“‘¿Eres cuir, or what?’ Latinx Disidentificatory Practices of Becoming.” (2020) In Decolonizing Latinx Masculinities edited by Arturo J. Aldama and Frederick L. Aldama. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Audio Intersectionality & Recovecos Performance (2020) Collaboration with Shawn Trenell O'Neal, Live performance at Imagined Borders, Epistemic Freedoms: The Challenge of Social Imaginaries in Media, Art, Religion and Decoloniality. Center for Media, Religion, and Culture, Boulder, CO. 

He Was Just Drunk & Quiero una novia (2017) Collaboration with Victoria Betancourt, Live performance at Night of Poetry: Readings by Latin American & Latinx Artists event by Latin American Studies Center, Boulder. 

“Vida – Tanya Saracho, 2018—, Queer LatinX Cultural Production, Television seasons 1 and 2.” (Fall 2019) In Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures 4, no. 1. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.