Race-ing Queer Studies

Convenors:  Jack Halberstam and Nayan Shah


Research Objective:

The Race-ing Queer Studies research cluster emerges from the intersection of scholarship in queer studies and research on processes of racialization.  The group presumes that racialization and sexuality have been central to the production of modern subjects and that an understanding of contemporary structures of power and embodiment depends upon research that considers the racialization of desire and the sexualization of race. The research cluster will explore, for example, how racialization features in debates over reproduction, kinship, erotic relations and bodily difference. And how sexuality features in debates over racial hierarchies, health, intimacy and temporality.  Research projects will examine the visibility and vibrancy of queer and gender variant social ties, cultural spaces and political challenges.  This work challenges paradigms of normativity and identity that organize the epistemologies of modern human subjectivity, social organization and politics.

The project draws on a significant constellation of faculty and graduate students at USC who are conducting innovative research on queer and transgender studies that intersects with research on racialization. This interdisciplinary network seeks to harness and combine these strengths and build a collaborative program of research and study.

The participants and contributors include graduate students in the Departments of American Studies and Ethnicity, English, Comparative Literature, Classics, Sociology, History, Critical Studies in the Cinema School and Communications in Annenberg.

Faculty who have participated in our workshops include:

Jack Halberstam ASE, Comparative Literature, Gender StudiesKara Keeling,  Cinema/ASE

Neetu Khanna , Comparative Literature

Macarena Gomez-Barris, ASE/Sociology

Shana Redmond, ASE

Nayan Shah, ASE

Veronica Terriquez, Sociology

Karen Tongson, English

Sherry Velasco, Spanish and Portuguese

We receive financial support from Vice Dean Peter Mancall, Dornsife College and the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity

Workshops and Events

Spring 2013


February 13, 2013

Professor Veronica Terriquez (Sociology, USC) Workshop

“Coming out of the Closet and Out of Shadows”


February 27, 2013

Discussion led by Professor Shana Redmond and Jack Halberstam on Rod Ferguson’s Reorder of Things


March 27, 2013

Workshop with Rod Ferguson(University of Minnesota), “Women of Color Feminism and Queer Studies in the University”




October 31, 2013 

Chandan Reddy, University of Washington

Workshop on “The Question of Violence: Empire, Liberal Justice, and Queer of Color Critique” ASE Commons KAP 445   4-5:30PM


January 22, 2014

C. Riley Snorton, Northwestern University, Communications,

Workshop on Nobody is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low (Minnesota 2014)


February 6, 2014, Pete H. Sigal, Duke University,

Workshop for Graduate Students: “Sex and Method,” KAP 445 12-2


March 6, 2014

Nao Bustamante Workshop:  “Process, Product and Art”

Doheny Memorial Library 240, 2-4 p.m.

Visions and Voices event


March 9, 2014

“Silver and Gold:  A Performance by Nao Bustamante”

Tommy’s Place, Tudor Center 7 p.m.

Visions and Voices event


March 10, 2014

Marlon Bailey, University of Indiana and Xavier Livermon, University of Texas

Workshop for Graduate Students “Queer Ethnographies” KAP 445 2-4 p.m.


April 23, 2014,

Mel Chen, UC Berkeley, ""Developmental" Politics and the Timing of Race and Disability” ASE Commons,  KAP 445, 12-2pm.


  • Department of American Studies & Ethnicity
  • University of Southern California
  • 3620 South Vermont Avenue
  • Kaprielian Hall 462
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-2534