November 2016

Form located at bottom of page

We are bordered, but our inquiry will remain unbound.

We will continue to resist the mandate for conquest, extraction, and containment.1

We support radical, consensual inquiry and education.

Jaula by Liliana Wilson
Jaula by Liliana Wilson

Dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres
(Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.)

-- Gloria Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue

Our friends are all those affected by ongoing and newly distributed vulnerabilities. And those who are afraid. We have been broken—wide open. And from this opening emerges new growth born of a co-mingling of hopelessness and also hope that, together, move us. We are dispirited and spirited at once. We remember together, following Audre Lorde, we were never meant to survive. And still, we are here. Thinking. Loving. Living. Listening. Crying. Imagining. Feeling. Connecting. Creating. Anew.

At the Institute for LGBT Studies, we won’t be disciplinarily bound. We will continue to cross disciplines, to write across differences, and to practice radical intersectionality and promiscuous citations. Inspired by Audra Simpson’s work, our politics of refusal together with our always contingent world-making practices—which Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner remind us necessarily include more people and spaces than can be identified, but which remain haunted by absences and filled with grief—attend to but are not exhausted by: queer kinship, the everyday, migration, black lives, (brown) bodies, third space, disabilities, borders, economy, trans* lives, the earth, the stranger, WOC feminisms, dispossessions, deportation, multiplicities, memory, their names, histories, the undocumented, students, precarity, securitization, fashion, labor, health and healing, QTPOC, the land, Muslims, decolonial action, mobility, erotics, empire, imagined futures, the newly arrived, queer archives and living histories, food justice, surveillance, antisemitism, sexual violence, redistributions, sensations, sanctuary, Latinx, gender, trauma, art, feeling, poverty, sensual knowledges, refugees, nation, sex, human rights and justice, water, walls, AIDS, sustainability, excess, disabilities, feminist and trans* pedagogies, Chicanx, poetics, settler-state governances and violences, the carceral state, intimacies, race, the non-normative, the repressive, the non-dominant, the detained, deported, and incarcerated as well as those seeking exit, entry, and emancipation.

We resist everyday infusions of fear and suspicion that are implicated in calls for deportation, containment, domination, and war. As queer scholars, the only camp we care to create is one of multiplicity where the pleasurable, playful, plentiful, passionate, and erotic is explicitly cultivated. It is a place and performance of gaiety and re-fashionings through which we recognize one another in love, desire, and consent for meaningful, respectful relationships, relational knowings, dis/identifications and un/doings. Always toward a more just world.

We are multiply-situated scholars whose senses have been newly awakened through revitalized pulsations, sorrow, and raw desires for meaningful, relational gestures, touch, reciprocal connections, nourishing care, and coalitions in the service of the production of new and gustatory knowledges that can address our ever-growing appetite for queer world-re-making. We are in search of new configurations and new attachments as well as new ways of looking, feeling, hearing, relating, and doing to attend to the urgencies of our time. Sometimes in a flash. Sometimes slowly. Non-subtly. Thoughtfully. In critical and creative ways.

We will work together for the Institute for LGBT Studies, a university-wide research institute, to continue to support and sustain the work that LGBTQI scholars at UA have undertaken for more than twenty years—to make the University of Arizona a place where queer and trans* research and scholarship happens, where LGBTQI-related pedagogy is produced and enacted, and which advances a transnational perspective on race, sexuality, and gender that is informed by the critique of globalization.

We will continue to collectively support initiatives housed at the Institute including the Arizona Queer Archives, an expanding site of community stories and scholarly interest; the Queer Migration Research Network that critically explores the articulation between international migration dynamics and LGBTQ individuals, communities, histories, cultures, arts, and politics; and the Transgender Studies Initiative, undertaken to create and draw from trans* methodologies to inform research in areas of inquiry including sex/gender variance, gender nonconformity, and diverse embodiments.

We will continue to invite and to host cutting-edge scholars, thinkers, writers, speakers, and artists to our campus, and to work to attract visiting scholars from around the world to participate with us—playfully, pleasurably, and in outrage—in free thinking and the pursuit of radical inquiry and transformational education. 

This is work we have always been doing. We do it now with renewed energy, commitment, y con tod@ corazón. Solidaridad.

To the then and there of queer futurity…
--José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia

Signed by Members of the UA Institute for LGBT Studies
Faculty Advisory Committee:

Ana Cornide

Francisco J. Galarte

Adam Geary

Miranda Joseph

Jamie A. Lee

Eithne Luibhéid

Adela C. Licona

V Spike Peterson

Susan Stryker

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We welcome signatures in solidarity. To sign, please complete the form below:

Works Cited

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands: la frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1987.
Berlant, Lauren, and Michael Warner. "Sex in public." Critical inquiry 24.2 (1998): 547-566.
Lorde, Audre. “ A Litany for Survival.” In The black unicorn: Poems. WW Norton & Company, 1995.
Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising utopia: The then and there of queer futurity. NYU Press, 2009.
Simpson, Audra. Mohawk interruptus: Political life across the borders of settler states. Duke University Press, 2014.
Wilson, Liliana. Jaula/El Prisionero. 2016/2004. Austin, Texas.

[1] For more on resisting such mandates see Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark. Vintage, 2007; and Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s "Land as pedagogy: Nishnaabeg intelligence and rebellious transformation." Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 3.3 (2014).