• Professor
  • Education: Ph.D. Anthropology, 1997, University of Rochester MA Anthropology, 1987, Syracuse University BA Philosophy magna cum laude, 1981, University of the Philippines

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Biographical Notes

I was born and raised in the Philippines. Presently, I am Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. I previously taught anthropology, Asian American Studies, and American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of the Philippines, New York University, New School University, and the City University of New York.

I am president-elect of the Association for Asian American Studies.

I am the author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora (Duke University Press, 2003; Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2006). My forthcoming book is entitled Queer Dwellings: Mess, Mesh, Measure. He is also the editor/co-editor of five anthologies and several journal special issues. namely, Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora (New York University Press, 2016) , Cultural Compass: Ethnographic Explorations of Asian America (Temple University Press, 2000) and Queer Globalizations: Citizenship and the Afterlife of Colonialism(New York University Press, 2002), Eating Asian America: A Food Studies Reader (New York University Press, 2013) and Q & A: Voices from Queer Asian North America (Temple University Press, 2021) I have edited several journal special issues which include an International Migration Review volume on gender and migration, an issue of Journal of Asian American Studies entitled “Feeling Filipinos” and a recent issue of Alon: The Journal for Filipinx American and Diasporic Studies on new Filipino American scholarship on martial law in the Philippines.

I have published in numerous journals such as GLQ, Antipode, South Atlantic Quarterly, Journal of Asian American Studies, Cultural Anthropology, positions: east asian cultural critique, and Radical History among others. My professional awards include the following the Ruth Benedict Prize from the American Anthropological Association in 2003 for Global Divas, the Excellence in Mentorship Award in 2013 from Association of Asian American Studies, the Richard Yarborough Mentoring Prize in 2016 from the American Studies Association, and the Crompton-Noll Award for the best LGBTQ essay in 2016 from the Modern Language Association.

My current book projects include the ethical and embodied dimensions of the lives and struggles of undocumented queer immigrants, Asian American immigrant culinary cultures, affect and nationalism, urban studies, and the politics of decolonizing social science in the Global South. Before going back to academia, I worked for 10 years in AIDS/HIV research, program evaluation and prevention education at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS both in New York City.

Research Interests

I am an interdisciplinary queer studies scholar trained in cultural anthropology and philosophy. I am interested in the study of minoritarian quotidian experiences of vulnerability, contingency, intimacy, and the infra-ordinary. I am indebted to and heavily influenced by the works of fellow travelers and colleagues who have developed and animated queer of color critique as well as queer global Asias frameworks. My writing and research trace the intersections between migration, sexuality, race, class, and gender with a special focus on Asian Americans as well as Filipinx communities in the United States and the Philippines and the diasporic “elsewheres.”

I consider queer not as a condition or identity but a portal that opens up analytical and political possibilities. Queerness is ingrained in the struggle for social justice and seeking livable lives for those mired in impossibility. As such, I am committed to a scholarship that is founded on the grit and grime of insurgent and precarious engagements.

I am also fascinated by forms of embodiment including affects, senses, and feelings. In particular, I am concerned about colonial and decolonial politics around discourses on emotions, traits, and socialities as they have developed in Philippine social sciences and humanities, popularized in mass media, and disseminated in the diaspora.

Care is an important pivot of another project as it dovetails the issues of global service labor, gendered personhood, and political resistance. I value the queer dimensions of care as part of a capacious spectrum of institutions, encounters, gestures, affective composures, and mediated ideas that include counter-intuitive situations of distance, detachment, and disaffection.