Dr. Jo Hsu: "Homing Story: Constellating Trans and Queer Asian American Rhetorics."
Time & Location
About the Event
Join us on December 1 from 4-5:30pm CST for an engaging talk from Dr. Jo Hsu, assistant professor of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas-Austin.
Homing Story: Constellating Trans and Queer Asian American Rhetorics
This session excerpts from a book project that examines Asian American racialization in connection with U.S. colonialism and anti-Blackness. I focus particularly on how model minority and yellow peril tropes collude in alternately aligning or counterposing Asian Americans with white middle-class gender norms and capitalist paradigms for productivity. In this talk, I posit storytelling as queer diasporic “homing”— as a means of finding and forging community in the absence of physical common ground. For LGBTQ+ Asian Americans, who are often implicitly or explicitly excluded from U.S. national imaginaries, homing becomes a way of composing community unbound from any fixed locale. Emphasizing mobility and dynamism, I argue that our bodyminds—our scars, fears, and aspirations—archive our social histories. With story as archival description, I use narrative to hold still, redefine, and/or reimagine my experiences in relation to other trans and queer of color rhetorics. What emerges is a personal narrative told in concert with voices of chosen family—with the LGBTQ+ Asian Americans and other crip, trans, and queer of color theorists and artists whose works have enabled the ways I write and live. As constellation, our stories network into a broader portrait of how norms surrounding race, gender, and (dis)ability conspire to enforce the boundaries of national and social belongings.
About Dr. Jo Hsu
Dr. Jo Hsu is an assistant professor of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin, where they are also core faculty in the Center for Asian American Studies and a faculty affiliate of the LGBTQ Studies Program. Broadly speaking, Jo’s research interweaves gender studies, disability studies, and critical race studies to examine the interrelations of these social categories. They are interested in how expectations around racialized, gendered bodily norms affect the life chances and opportunities of those excluded by those very narratives. Their work can be found in disciplinary journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Women’s Studies in Communication, and College Composition and Communication. Their creative writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and can be found in Kartika Review, Color Bloq, and other literary outlets. Throughout their (often wayward and meandering) academic journey, Jo has been fortunate to have the support of generous mentors and co-conspirators, and they strive to further these forms of mutual care and collaborative worldbuilding.