Martin Manalansan: "“Queer Dwellings: Migrancy, Precarity and Fabulosity”

October 17, 2013 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

Gender and Sexuality STUDIES Lecture:  

“Queer Dwellings: Migrancy, Precarity and fabulosity” 

Prof. Martin Manalansan 

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies 

Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 



“To dwell is to think and to reflect. To dwell is to build material, social and emotional architectures. To dwell is to confront and engage. To dwell is to live - however ordinary - a life upon which one ultimately establishes a way of being in the world. Echoing Martin Heidegger's ideas on dwelling in the early 20th century, this paper offers a way of critically engaging with the present-day violence and banality of survival by undocumented queer immigrants in the U.S.  This presentation builds and evokes the nuances of dwelling during these precarious times. Utilizing ethnographic fieldwork and deploying recent critical theories on affect and the senses, and ideas about queer time and space, Queer Dwellings is about the paradoxical, ambivalent, often incoherent messy daily arrangements and encounters between people living in the margins. I am interested in inter-subjective experiences and actions that fuel people's lives, actions, and imaginings and the creation of affective and sensory landscapes across local and global scales.  I focus on the bodily productions of selfhood and collectivity in the midst of squalor, exclusions, and isolation, particularly as these people deploy their sensorial skills and bodily techniques to worldly situations, My account is based on the quotidian exigencies of the immigrant queer body and how a politics of affect and the senses can provide a window into more expansive ways of acting and being in the world. To put it another way, I am concerned with the ethics and aesthetics of habitation that hopefully, will give flesh to a politics that is responsive to some of the ways queer lives are lived now.”


Location and Address

601 Cathedral of Learning, Humanities Center