Orfalea Center Thematic Research Cluster​

Global Genders and Sexualities​

Debanuj DasGupta

Dr. Debanuj DasGupta (he/she), Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies at UCSB. Debanuj’s research and teaching focuses on racialized regulation of space, immigration detention, queer migrations and the global governance of migration, sexuality, and HIV. Debanuj serves on the political geography editorial board of the Geography Compass and is Board-Co Chair of the Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies: CLAGS at the City University of New York. He is the recipient of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) funded Junior Scholar Award in Transregional Studies: Inter Asian Contexts & Connections; Global Challenges Research Fund Networking Award, through the British Department for International Development, Ford Foundation funded New Voices Fellowship, American Association of Geographers and National Science Foundation funded T. J. Reynolds National Award in Disability Studies, and the International AIDS Society’s Emerging Activist Award.

Raquel Pacheco

Raquel Pacheco is a Sociocultural Anthropologist in the Anthropology Department. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the engagement of Nahua and Teenek peoples of the Huasteca region with what she calls gender progress through their entanglement in migrant wage-labor and as targets of the Mexican government's efforts to promote modern gender roles. She does this through a historical analysis of the nexus between settler colonialism, political economy, feminism, development, and the transformations of the Mexican state with a special emphasis on the period from the 1960’s until today. In conjunction, she draws on ethnographic analysis of the contradictions between the local and state efforts directed at harmonizing and modernizing the indigenous family in the Huasteca region and the labor niches to which Nahuas and Teeneks are sidelined, primarily domestic work in the region of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. She intervenes on the scholarship of citizenship, gender, biopolitics, and indigeneity to draw attention to the cunning of gender progressive citizenship.

Sabine Frühstück

Sabine Frühstück is interested in the study of modern and contemporary Japanese culture and its relationship to the world. Her research has engaged several intellectual fields. Playing War: Children and the Paradoxes of Modern Militarism in Japan (2017) is a cultural history of the naturalized connections between childhood and militarism. It analyzes the rules and regularities of war play, from the hills and along the rivers of 19th century rural Japan to the killing fields of 21st century cyberspace. The ethnography, Uneasy Warriors: Gender, Memory and Popular Culture in the Japanese Army (2007) employs gender, memory and popular culture as technologies of engagement with a number of debates that centrally involve the ambivalent status and condition of Japan’s contemporary military. Colonizing Sex: Sexology and Social Control in Modern Japan (2003) is a socio-historical study of the creation, formation, and application of a “science of sex” from the late 19th through the mid-20th century.

Xiaorong Li

Xiaorong Li’s areas of research are concerned with gender and literary production, women’s writings, literati culture, and literary trends in late imperial China (ca. 1500–1900). She also conducts research on classical Chinese poetry in Japan and Korea from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Her first monograph, Women’s Poetry of Late Imperial China: Transforming the Inner Chambers, uses the physical, social and symbolic location of women in the gendered division of space— the inner chambers [gui or guige] — as a theoretical focus of an examination of Ming-Qing women’s approach to the writing of poetry. Her second book is titled, The Poetics and Politics of Sensuality in China: The “Fragrant and Bedazzling” Movement (1600-1930). “Fragrant and bedazzling” (xiangyan) is a Chinese phrase synonymous with sensual and bewitching feminine beauty and, in literature, eroticism. In her new projects, she continues to explore one of the most remarkable achievements in poetic culture during the late imperial period, the production of an unprecedented number and variety of anthologies. Li was trained in Chinese linguistics first at Peking University and subsequently studied late imperial Chinese literature at McGill University. She taught at Swarthmore College and Beijing Language University (formerly known as Beijing Language Institute) before coming to UCSB.

Hangping Xu

Hangping Xu specializes in modern and contemporary Chinese literary, cultural, and visual studies, comparative literature, and Taiwan Studies. Situating China in the world and destabilizing the notion of “Chineseness,” his research also pays attention to the history of diaspora, dispersion, immigration, and globalization. His interdisciplinary research engages two significant turns in literary and cultural studies—namely, the affective and the ethical —by foregrounding disability as a mode of critique. It particularly examines “disability aesthetics,” that is, how the disabled body in our cultural imaginaries evokes affective responses, or what can be called “aesthetic nervousness.” It explores the ways in which disability opens up new ethical horizons because its excessively corporeal and often spectacularized embodiment conceptually and aesthetically challenges how a culture defines what it means to be human. His research uses disability as a critical framework to challenge the autonomous liberal subject and posit an ethic of care that recognizes human finitude, vulnerability, and mutual dependence. Further, it concerns the intersection of disability and media theory. The concept of prosthesis, for example, can be used to explain media’s function as “any extension of ourselves” (Marshall Mcluhan).

Maisnam Arnapal

Maisnam Arnapal is a Chancellor Doctoral Fellow in the Department of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara. At the Orfalea Center, he is a Graduate Research Fellow in the Global Genders and Sexualities Cluster. Prior to this, he studied and taught at the University of Delhi, India. His areas of interest are gender and sexuality studies with special focus on Northeast India. His research looks at Indigeneity, nation-state, conflict, and militarization in the region through feminist, queer and trans analytics. He belongs to the Meitei Indigenous community of Manipur located on the Indo-Myanmar borderlands. He is also asscoiated with the American Indian and Indigenous Collective (AIIC) at UCSB.

Miguel Fuentes

Miguel Fuentes (he/him) is one of the Grad Assistants for the Global Genders and Sexualities cluster. He is a PhD candidate in Global Studies, currently working on his dissertation around the politics of sexuality-related pills and what he's been calling "chemical sexualities" in Mexico and Egypt. He has interned at UNFPA Egypt, and is currently interning at GIRE (Information Group on Reproductive Choice), Inspira (NGO for HIV advocacy) and Yaaj (LGBT-advocacy organization) in Mexico City. He is currently the Lead TA for the Global Studies Department at UCSB, and co-organizer of the Middle East and North of Africa Studies Week in Mexico. He was the Graduate Student Representative for the Center of Middle East Studies at UCSB, and also worked as the Grad Assistant for Resource Center for Gender and Sexual Diversity in campus. He is author of several articles and book chapters on sexuality in the Middle East, global sexual and reproductive health rights, and reports on LGBT+ and health in Mexico.

Jovana Gómez

Graduate Assistant (Spanish and Portuguese)

Xiuhe Zhang

Graduate Assistant (Film and Media Studies). Xiuhe is currently pursuing his PhD in Film and Media Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Born and raised in Northeast China, Xiuhe received his BA in Television Photography from Communication University of China, and an MFA in Cinematography from the University of Miami. Before coming to UCSB, he graduated from San Francisco State University with an MA in Cinema Studies. His current research project explores forms of mediation of sex worker and sexual economy in mainland China, particularly through the historiographic lens of Chinese cinemas and visual cultures, in conjunction with material media practices by sex worker communities through media anthropological approach.

Eugene Riordan Jr

Graduate Assistant (Global Studies). Eugene (he/him/his) is a PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After receiving his B.A. from Colgate University with a double major in Peace and Conflict Studies and International Relations, he was awarded a Fulbright to work as an English Teaching Assistant in Thailand with TUSEF. Before joining UCSB, Eugene studied, taught, and competed professionally in Ballroom and Latin dance in New York City. Eugene's research focuses on international incarceration, the securitization of sexuality and gender, and security technologies used by authoritarian governments. His work focuses on the Middle East and Southeast Asia.