Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series: Robert Diaz

March 23, 2015 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Centre for Film and Theatre, Room 301**
York University
4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

*This event has been postponed due to the current labour disruption at York.  We will update this website with new information once it is available*

Queer Filipino/a Performance and the Canadian Multicultural State

Co-sponsored by the Performance Studies (Canada) Project and York University's Graduate Program in Theatre & Performance Studies


In this presentation, Robert Diaz examines how queer Filipinos/as perform a repertoire of histories that destabilize the Canadian nation-state's strategies for disciplining and imagining difference.  How might queer Filipinos/as deploy inherited histories that unsettle the geopolitical specificities of American colonialism, and in the process expose Canadian multiculturalism's Orientalist and racist underpinnings?  How might such a historical repertoire foreground the tense proximities between the experiences of non-Native people of colour and the experiences of Native communities in Canada, who continue to be disempowered through insidious practices of settler colonialism?  By focusing on key vignettes - the abjection of transgender Filipinas in the workplace and queer Filipino embodiment in contemporary Filipino Canadian Art - Diaz suggests that queer Filipinos/as enact performances, memories, and desires that refuse to fall in line around the very identitarian tenets from which Canadian multiculturalism gains its power and political dominance.


Robert Diaz is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at OCAD University.  His teaching and scholarship focus on the intersections of Sexuality, Filipino, Asian, and Postcolonial Studies.  Diaz is currently editing Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries (under contract with Northwestern University Press), which brings together artists, scholars, and community workers in order to examine the contributions of queer Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society.  His research has appeared or is forthcoming  in Signs: Journal of Women and Culture in Society, GLQ: Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Women and Performance, The Routledge Companion to Asian American and Pacific Islander Literature, Philippine Palimpsests: Essays for the 21st Century, and Plaridel.

Performance (Canada) Speaker Series Poster

**Please note that we will hold the talk off-campus (venue TBA) if the current labour disruption continues.