Mel Chen

Associate Professor, Department of Gender & Women's Studies
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley

CSTMS Research Unit: Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies, Berkeley Program in Science and Technology Studies

Mel Y. Chen is Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at U.C. Berkeley and an affiliate of the Center for Race and Gender and the Institute for Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences.Mel's former work, Speech Lost from Speech: On the Borders of Linguistic Self-Possession, appearing in articles and book chapters, explored the gendered, racialized, and nationalist politics of silence in language theories in order to reconsider linguistic subject and objecthood, and to lay out the stakes and workings of linguistic reclamation. More recently, the essay "Racialized Toxins and Sovereign Fantasies" (Discourse 29(2-3): 367-383) considers industrial pollutants as altered disease vectors and asks about the ways they can be racialized in the course of transnational migration. Mel is also tracing the ethical contours of a queer of color approach to human animality, as well as non-human animacies, and will convene "Species Spectacles", a U.C. Humanities Research Institute Residential Research Group focused on animality, sexuality and race, in Fall 2009. These projects take part in Mel's book, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect, which was released in July 2012 with Duke University Press in the Perverse Modernities series. Mel's short film, Local Grown Corn (2007), explores interweavings of immigration, childhood, illness and friendship; it has played in both asian and queer film festivals.

last updated: February 8th, 2016