Distance, Detachment, Disaffection: Queering Care Then and Now

Join us for a lecture with Martin F. Manalansan IV hosted by the UW Center for Care Initiative

Co-sponsored by the UW-Madison Anonymous Fund, the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, and the Asian American Studies Program

Date: March 24, 2022

Time: 5:00-6:30PM CST

Where: Zoom


Abstract: How do we confront the exigencies of care set in the midst of pandemics, displacements, and deaths?  How does care involve such seemingly antithetical affective and emotional stances such as distance, detachment, and disaffection? Culling from personal accounts and ethnographic fieldwork from the AIDS pandemic in the late 80s and 90s, research on undocumented queer immigrants in the first decade of the 20th century as well as autoethnographic accounts of the ravages of Covid, I would like to re-think care through queer lenses as a series of messy entangled enactments and bodily composures that weave a counter-intuitive story of togetherness, intimacy, and positionings. This story runs counter to the packaged sentimentalized renderings in various cultural productions and biographical confessions to offer a capacious frame for articulating ambivalences, disorder, and conflicts in care work and care meanings.


Martin F. Manalansan IV is the Beverly and Richard Fink Professor in Liberal Arts and Professor of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He is the author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora and he is editor/co-editor of five anthologies including Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora and Q & A: Voices from Queer Asian North America. His current book projects include the ethical and embodied dimensions of the lives and struggles of undocumented queer immigrants, Asian American immigrant culinary cultures, affect and nationalism, urban studies, and the politics of decolonizing social science in the Global South. Before going back to academia, he worked for 10 years in AIDS/HIV research, program evaluation and prevention education at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS both in New York City.