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February 22: Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride: Gay Marriage, Affective Labor, and the Filipina “Mail Order Bride”


Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride: Gay Marriage, Affective Labor, and the Filipina “Mail Order Bride”

a lunch talk with Gina Velasco

Friday, February 22
12:30 to 1:45 pm

Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
41-51 East 11th Street, Room 741

Gina Velasco, Women’s & Gender Studies, Keene State College, and CSGS Visiting Scholar

Focusing on the video/performance art piece, Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride, by the Filipina American performance art group, the Mail Order Brides, this presentation examines the elision of racialized and gendered labor within a queer neoliberal logic. In the current political context of queer neoliberalism and racialized homonationalism in the U.S., gay marriage functions as a form of (homo)national belonging. Through their parody of the figure of the Filipina “mail order bride,” the Mail Order Brides critique the role of affective labor in constituting the homonormative family through gay marriage. More specifically, the Mail Order Brides enact the performative strategies of feminist camp and ethnic drag to denaturalize the forms of racialized and gendered affective labor upon which a global capitalist system relies. Ultimately, Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride suggests a reimagining of the relationship between queer politics, migration, and labor.

Gina Velasco is a Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU and an Assistant Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Keene State College in New Hampshire. After receiving her Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Bryn Mawr College from 2008-2010.

This event is free and open to the public.  Wheelchair access at 85-87 University Place, between 11th and 12th Streets.

For more information, please email CSGS at csgs(at)nyu.edu or call 212-992-9540.

Facebook event page here.

Bring your lunch — we’ll provide beverages and dessert!



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