Lionel Cantú Lecture

Jasbir Puar, Associate Professor at Rutgers University, delivering the 2014 Cantú lecture

Assistant Professor Lionel Cantú JrThis event honors the memory of Dr. Lionel Cantú Jr., Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, who unexpectedly passed away in 2002. His academic research included international migration, HIV/AIDS, Latina/o studies, queer theories, and feminist studies. Queer Migrations:  Sexuality, U.S. Citizenship, and Border Crossing, a co-edited anthology by Lionel Cantú and Eithne Luibhéid, University of Arizona was published posthumously in 2005.  A book based on his research was published in 2009, The Sexuality of MigrationBorder Crossings and Mexican Immigrant Men, by Lionel Cantú, co-edited by Nancy Naples, Professor of Sociology & Women’s Studies at the University of Connecticut and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, Assistant Professor of Sociology at American University (New York University Press, February 2009).


2017 "Brown Soul" (flyer-pdf)

This talk features a segment of my manuscript in progress, titled “Brown Soul.” As a queer feminist analytic “brown soul” reckons with Blackness in the field of Chicano Studies and by extension the political and aesthetic productions of Chicanidad, or what means to feel, imagine, and perform a Chicano sensibility. Brown soul necessitates different methodological movidas in studies of the cultural politics of Chicano music and performance. With a focus on the brown soul of various artists including oldies groups like Rosie and the Originals, Linda Ronstadt, Sheila E, corridos de Amalia/Amelio Robles, and the Mexican folkloric song “la negra," brown soul initiates a spirit of urgency to ponder performance iconographies and analytic frameworks that have too often elided Blackness in analyses of cultural productions, theoretical paradigms, and canonical historiographies that give meaning to the political potentiality of Chicano Studies, Chicano cultural production, and brown power.

Deborah R. Vargas is Associate Professor in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Vargas received her doctorate in Sociology (concentration in the Department of Feminist Studies) from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow and Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Vargas’s areas of research includes Chicana/Latina cultural production, queer of color sexualities and genders, and critical race feminisms. Her publications have appeared in journals such as Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies; Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory; Feminist Studies, Social Text, and American Quarterly. Vargas’s first book Dissonant Divas in Chicana Music: The Limits of La Onda (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) was awarded three national books prizes.

Co-Sponsored by the Division of Social Sciences, Rachel Carson College, the Chicano Latino Research Center, and departments of Anthropology, Community Studies, Feminist Studies, History of Consciousness, Latin American Latino Studies, Literature, and Politics

2014 "The Right to Maim: Disablement, Palestine, and Disaster Capitalism"

JASBIR PUAR, Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Rutgers University

This talk looks at the productivity of disablement as a war tactic of the Israeli state in Gaza and the West Bank. It argues for a revisioning of biopolitics that accounts for maiming as a goal of settler colonialism that defies easy demarcations between making live and letting die. Such an analysis complicates recent debates about the function of "collateral damage" by mining the schism between targeting to kill and targeting to disable.


2011 “Methodological Note Toward a Decolonial Feminism”

MARIA C. LUGONES, Professor of Comparative Literature and Director for the Center of Interdisciplinary Studies in Philosophy, Interpretation, and Culture, Binghamton University, State University of New York


2009 "Lucha Reyes, Queen of the Mariachi, Queer Icon"

SERGIO de la MORA, Chicana and Chicano Studies, the University of California, Davis


2007 "Soweto '76: "Virtual Witnessing" and the Politics of Memory-Making in South Africa's Townships"

ANGEL DAVID NIEVES, Historic Preservation in the School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at the University of Maryland at College Park


2006 "The Logic of Heteronormativity in Neoliberal Immigration Control"

EITHNE LUIBHEID, Women's Studies and Director of the Committee on LGBT Studies at the University of Arizona


2005 "Listening to the Archives:  Black Lesbian Literature and Film"   

MATTIE RICHARDSON, Doctoral Candidate in African-American Studies, University of California, Berkeley


2004 "Border Crossings of Desire: Gay Latino Moves in the Space of Los Angeles" and "Re-Naming Ceremony: The Lionel Cantú GLBTI Resource Center"

HORACIO RAMIREZ, Assistant Professor of Latino Studies, UC Santa Barbara


2003 A Celebration of Life: Lionel Cantú as Scholar, Mentor and Activist

See Also