Photo: Robert Diaz

Robert Diaz

Assistant Professor

Contact by email

Phone: Ext. 2858

Areas of Expertise

Gender and Sexuality Studies, Asian Diasporic Literature (Including Asian Canadian), Postcolonial and Filipino/a Studies


Ph.D. in Literature, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Bachelor of Arts in Literature, University of California Riverside
Minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies, University of California Riverside


Dr. Robert Diaz Jr. is an Assistant Professor of English and Gender Studies at OCADU. Before moving to OCADU, he was an Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has also worked at Wayne State University, USC, UCLA, and Scripps College. His research and teaching focus on the intersections of Asian North American, Filipino, Sexuality, and Postcolonial Studies.

His first book project, Reparative Acts: Redressive Nationalisms and Queer Filipino/a Lives, examines Filipino diasporic film, literature, performance, and new media in order to interrogate the relationship between histories of nationalism, imperialism, and redress. In the process, Diaz identifies six key figures that have been significant to the consolidation of Philippine nationalisms since the 1970's: the victimized Filipina during Japanese duress, the marginalized city-dweller during the Marcos regime, the transnational returnee or balikbayan, the overseas contract worker, the "beauty queen", and the international celebrity. Diaz argues that by queering these figures, artists, intellectuals, and people participating in the information flows of new media are then able to produce legible and complex critiques of often limited and institutionalized enactments of economic, political, and symbolic redress.

Diaz is also co-editing Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries with Fritz Pino and Marissa Largo. This collection brings together artists, scholars, and community members to discusses the contributions of LGBTQ Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society (Under Contract: Northwestern University Press).

As part of his research on queer Filipino Canadian communities, Diaz' other project, The Ruse of Visibility: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Multiculturalisms, analyzes a range of archives, from the Miss Gay Philippines Canada beauty pageant to the narratives of transgender Filipinos who navigate the Greater Toronto Area. In the process, Diaz notes that the Filipino diaspora's experience with multiple forms of colonialism and racialization offer new perspectives for understanding the limits of Canadian multiculturalism, which carries its own attendant forms of racialization and practices of exclusion.

Diaz has been awarded two competitive external fellowships, an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships at UCLA with the theme of "Homosexualities: From Antiquity to the Present" (2009-2010), and an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at USC with a theme of "Comparative Ethnic Studies" (2007-2008). Aside from working in the university, Robert is also committed to community engagement and social justice. He continues this commitment by working with LGBT and Filipino focused organizations such as ACAS, UKPC/FCYA, Magkaisa Center and Kapisanan, in the Greater Toronto Area.

Professional Experience

Community Work:

Kapatid Queer Filipino/a Group

Asian Community Aids Services (ACAS)

Kapisan Arts Centre, Toronto

Magkaisa Center, Toronto

Selected Exhibitions/Screenings

Co-curator (with Marissa Largo): Visualizing the Intimate in Filipino Lives. Open Gallery, 49 McCaul Street. January 23 - February 15, 2016.

Selected Publications

Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries. Co-editors Marissa Largo and Fritz Pino. (Under Contract: Northwestern University Press).

"Queer Unsettlements: Filipinos in Canada's World Pride". Journal of Asian American Studies. October 2016.

"The Limits of Bakla and Gay: Feminist Readings of My Husband's Lover, Vice Ganda, and Charice Pempengco" in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. Vol. 40, No. 3 (Spring 2015), pp. 721-745

"Queer Love and Urban Intimacies in Martial Law Manila." Plaridel: A Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society. 9:2, 2012. University of the Philippines Press.

"Queer Histories and the Global City." GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. Volume 18, Number 2-3, 2012. Duke University Press.

"Transnational Queer Studies and Unfolding Terrorisms: Jasbir Puar'sTerrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times." Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts. Winter 2009. Wayne State Press.

"Queer Undoing in Markova: Comfort Gay." Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory. Vol 17:1 Spring 2007. Routledge Press.

"Melancholic Maladies: Paranoid Ethics, Reparative Envy, and Asian American Critique."Performing Reparation: Practice, Methodology, Process. Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory. Vol 16:2 Spring 2006. Routledge Press.

Co-Editor (Journal): Performing Reparation: Practice, Methodology, Process with Joshua Chambers Letson. Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory. Vol 16:2 Spring 2006. Routledge Press.

"Queer Returns: Failed Balikbayans in R. Zamora Linmark's Leche and Gil Portes' Miguel/Michelle" in Global Asian American Popular Cultures edited by Shilpa Dave, Leilani Nishime and Tasha Oren. New York: New York University Press, 2016.

"Redressive Nationalisms, Victimized Filipinas, and Japanese Duress" in Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora edited by Martin Manalansan and Augusto Espiritu. New York: New York University Press, 2016.

"Sexuality" in The Routledge Companion to Asian American Literature, edited by Rachel Lee. New York: Routledge Press, 2014.


- SSHRC Institutional Grant, "Unsettling the Canadian Global City: Queer Filipino/as and Diasporic Imaginaries." - OCAD University, Fall 2014

- University Research Grant, “Reparative Acts: Queer Figures of Redress in Philippine Nationalisms.” – Wayne State University, 2011.

- Humanities Center Fellowship, “Reparative Acts: Redress in a Post-Racial Era” – Humanities Center, Wayne State University. 2011.

- Andrew W. Mellon Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow, “Homosexualities: From Antiquity to the Present” - Department of English, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). 2009-2010.

- Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Comparative Ethnic Studies - Department of English, The University of
Southern California (USC). 2007-2008.

Professional Affiliations/Boards Juries

American Studies Association, Asian American Studies Association, National Women's Studies Association,

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