3.90.156 Queer Migrations


  • Mo , 31.10.2016 09:30 - 13:30
  • Mo , 31.10.2016 16:00 - 20:00


This workshop is organised in the context of the study programme EMMIR - for readings and further information please contact

workshop by Prof. Karma Chavez

Over the past two decades, a growing field of queer migration studies has intervened in the heteronormativity of nearly all approaches to the study of international migration. Ranging from historical accounts of how racialized gender and sexuality impact all elements of migration process and policy to anthropological, literary and sociological considerations of queer migrant experiences of belonging and homemaking, to rhetorical and cultural studies discussions of queer migration politics, this growing field has changed the way we understand migration and migrant subjectivity.
This seminar draws on recent scholarship mostly published in North America and proposes an eclectic consideration of two of the major thematics within queer migration studies—the queer politics of migration and queer migrant belonging—by asking the following kinds of questions: 1) in what ways are migration politics queer, and in what ways has such a case for a queer migration politics or the queer politics of migration been over or under-stated? 2) what else might it mean to suggest that migration politics are queer? 3) what might be gained from looking outside of North American and European contexts, which have predominated in the field? 4) how have questions of belonging shaped the field of queer migration studies? 5) what has been most importantly illuminated in our understanding of queer migrant subjectivity and what may have been obscured or ignored as a result? 6) what are the relationships among politics and belonging that need further consideration?

Obligatory Readings
Part 1: Queer Politics of Migration
• De Genova, Nicholas. "The Queer Politics of Migration: Reflections on 'Illegality' and Incorrigibility." Studies in Social Justice 4, no. 2 (2010): 101-26.
• Haritaworn, Jin, Adi Kuntsman, and Silvia Posocco. "Murderous Inclusions." International Feminist Journal of Politics 15, no. 4 (2013): 445-52.
• Luibhéid, Eithne. "Sexuality, Migration, and the Shifting Line between Legal and Illegal Status." GLQ 14, no. 2-3 (2008): 289-316.
• Portillo Villeda, Suyapa G., Eileen J. Ma, Stacy I. Macías, and Carmen Varela. "The 'Good,' the 'Bad,' and the Queer Invisible: The Los Angeles May Day Queer Contingent." Diálogo 18, no. 2 (2015): 21-36.
• Seitz, David K. "Limbo Life in Canada's Waiting Room: Asylum-Seeker as Queer Subject." Environment & Planning D: Society and Space (2016): 1-19.
• White, Melissa Autumn. "Documenting the Undocumented: Toward a Queer Politics of No Borders." Sexualities 17, no. 8 (2014): 976-97.

Part 2: Queer Migrant Belonging
• Bhaumik, Munia. "Humiliation as Technique: Neoliberalism and the Noncitizen's Body." Diálogo 18, no. 2 (2015): 91-104.
• Borges, Sandibel. "Not Coming out, but Building a Home: An Oral History in Re-Conceptualizing a Queer Migrant Home." Diálogo 18, no. 2 (2015): 119-30.
• Fobear, Katherine. "Queer Settlers: Questioning Settler Colonialism in LGBT Asylum Processes in Canada." Refuge 30, no. 1 (2014): 47-56.
• Selections from: Haritaworn, Jin. Queer Lovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places. London: Pluto Press, 2015.
• Lee, Edward Ou Jin, and Shari Brotman. "Identity, Refugeeness, Belonging: Experiences of Sexual Minority Refugees in Canada." Canadian Review of Sociology 48, no. 3 (2011): 241-74.
• Ochoa, Juan D. "Shine Bright Like a Migrant: Julio Salgado's Digital Art and Its Use of Jotería." Social Justice 42, no. 3-4 (2016): 184-99.

Karma R Chávez is an associate professor of Mexican American and Latino/a Studies and affiliate in the Center for Mexican American Studies and the Department of Communication studies at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. Her scholarship is primarily informed by queer of color theory and women of color feminism. Methodologically, she is a rhetorical critic who variously utilizes textual and field based methods. She is interested in studying social movement building, activist rhetoric, and coalitional politics. Her work emphasizes the rhetorical practices of groups marginalized within existing power structures, but she also attends to rhetoric produced by powerful institutions and actors about marginalized folks and the systems that oppress them (e.g., immigration system, prisons etc.). In 2013, she published her first book, Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities, which examines coalition building at the many intersections of queer and immigration politics in the contemporary United States. She has also co-edited two volumes, Text + Field: Innovations in Rhetorical Method and Standing in the Intersection: Feminist Voices, Feminist Practices in Communication Studies. She is working on a new manuscript, AIDS Knows No Borders, which explores AIDS activism and organizing on the issue of immigration and within immigrant communities during what is often described as the height of the AIDS pandemic in North America (1981-1995). She is also working on a collection of essays about the role of the university in its community, tentatively titled, The Reluctant Academic.



  • mir130 Theorizing Historical and Contemporary Migration Processes & Intercultural Relations
  • mir320 Theory and Methods in Migration Studies


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