Performing Asian American & Diasporic Sexualities


As an interdisciplinary network of scholars and artists, the Performing Asian American & Diasporic Sexualities working group invites critical engagement with questions of race, gender, sexuality, disability, colonialism, and labor through the lens of performance studies and visual and media studies. We examine how performances of Asian America and diaspora on stage and in everyday life are impacted by histories of migration and imperialism. We use sexuality as a lens to understand connections between exclusionary policies of the past and the recent surge in anti-Asian violence.

Sessions include presentations of work-in-progress, reading groups, guest artist talks, film screenings, and workshops. The working group will also be an opportunity to collaborate on public programming, including a symposium and performance series. Coming from within and beyond Berkeley, our members represent a wide range of fields, including American Studies, Art History, Art Practice, English, Geography, Political Science, and Performance Studies.

Our central questions include:

  • How does the erotic enable us to navigate histories of pain and reappropriate narratives of violence?
  • How do community and artistic archives offer counter-narratives to mainstream visual representations of Asian sexuality?
  • How do Asian sex workers disrupt the binary notion of simply conforming to or resisting racial scripts?