Kale B Fajardo

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American Studies
104 Scott Hall

72 Pleasant Street SE

Kale Bantigue Fajardo is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He received his PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. In graduate school, he focused on visual anthropology, postcolonial studies, gender/sexuality studies, and Asian American Studies. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University where he studied Southeast Asian Studies, feminist studies and human development studies. Fajardo's first book, _Filipino Crosscurrents: Oceanographies of Seafaring, Masculinities and Globalization_ (University of Minnesota Press, 2011 and University of the Philippines Press, 2013) is an interdisciplinary transnational ethnography that analyzes the cultural politics of Filipino migrant and maritime masculinities in the local/global shipping industry and in the context of local/global neoliberal capitalism. He uses Philippine post-colonial theory, queer theory, and feminist theory to analyze the previously mentioned topics. In particular, Fajardo's book is concerned with how the Philippine state uses seamen (or the figure of Filipino seamen) to promote neoliberal economic policies and projects in Manila and the Philippine nation. _Filipino Crosscurrents_ is based on fieldwork conducted in Manila, Oakland, as well as on board an industrial container ship that voyaged from Oakland to Hong Kong (via Osaka, Tokyo, and Kiaoshung.) Fajardo continues to research Filipino migrant and male maritime cultures through interdisciplinary research.

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA.
  • M.A.: Cultural Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA.
  • B.S.: Human Development Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

Curriculum Vitae


  • gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, queer of color critique, masculinity studies, transgender studies, Philippine Studies, Filipinix Studies, Asian American Studies, American Studies, Pacific Studies, Global Studies, globalization studies, migration studies, critical-creative ethnographic practice, (UC) Santa Cruz School of Ethnography, visual cultures, photography and video.
Courses Taught
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America: Space/Place in Asian America
  • Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America: Focus on Asian American Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Gender, Sexuality, and Politics in the US: Focus on Hawaii, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico
  • Comparative Genders and Sexualities: Sissies, Sex Workers, and Seamen
  • America's Diverse Cultures: Natives, Migrants and the Making of Minnesota
  • Freshman Seminar: Reading the Mississippi River: Place, Race, Gender, and Empire
Research & Professional Activities


  • Another Archipelago: Racial, Sexual, and Photographic Encounters of Filipino Migrant Men: Fajardo is currently working on a second book project. _Another Archipelago_ is an interdisciplinary book project that focuses on the inner-connectedness of race, gender, sexuality, class, and visual culture in a colonial US metropole context. Fajardo utilizes queer, trans, feminist, postcolonial, and decolonial theories to critically analyze the racial-sexual-visual cultural politics concerning Filipino men who migrated to the metropole (US) in the 1920s and 1930s, at a time when the US was in colonial control of the Philippines. The book centrally examines archival photography of Filipino migrant men (shot by non-Filipino/as and Filipino migrant men) in different local and regional sites in the US, while also offering a contemporary decolonial queer trans and Filipino auto-ethnographic and photographic response. That is, in each chapter, he closely analyzes archival photographs, but he also includes original auto-ethnographic writing and photographs as a counter-response to colonial images and narratives, and to also dialogue with migrant Filipino/as from an earlier time-period. In doing so, _Another Archipelago_ offers new directions in feminist, queer, trans, and Ethnic Studies approaches to archival research through a contemporary lens. In using this interdisciplinary critical-creative method, Another Archipelago opens up discussions about how Filipino migrant men’s racialized and classed masculinities and sexualities were criminalized, distorted, marginalized, and managed by dominant white colonial social actors and institutions in the early 20th Century. Moreover, in the book, Fajardo also examine the cultural politics of Filipino migrant men’s self-representations and also his own in response to the respective photography (archive). Through this multi-layered and multi-pronged approach, Fajardo argues that Filipino migrant men precisely developed particular homo-and-hetero intimacies to maintain their human dignity as migrant workers living and working in the metropole (US). Furthermore, in bridging the Filipino migrant men’s photographic practices of self-representation with his own contemporary auto-ethnographic writing and photography, _Another Archipelago) ultimately argues for the creation of Filipino/a counter-memory-work through a decolonial queer and trans and lens.


  • We Heart Malolos: Kapwa, Kasaysayan at Kalikasan (Unity, History, and the Environment): Fajardo also has a public anthropology project called: "We Heart Malolos: Kapwa, Kasaysayan at Kalikasan (Unity, History, and the Environment). This project was initially funded by a Grant-In-Aid of Scholarship and Artistry from the University of Minnesota (summer 2012-winter 2015). Through this project, Fajardo is conducting research in his hometown of Malolos, Bulacan in the Philippines and is collaborating with The Center for Bulacan Studies Center at Bulacan State University to organize a series of Malolos-related and Malolos-based kapwa, kasaysayan and kalikasan educational events and programs.,
  • Fajardo, Kale Bantigue, Chantal Nadeau, Martin F. Manalansan, Richard T. Rodríguez, and Siobhan B. Somerville. "“Queering and Transing the Great Lakes: Filipino/a Tomboy Masculinities and Manhoods Across Waters"." GLQ 20 (2014): 115-140. LinkDownload
  • Fajardo, Kale Bantigue, Deirdre de la Cruz (Ed.). "“The Filipino Seaman” ." Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity (2013):
  • Fajardo, Kale Bantigue. Filipino Crosscurrents: Oceanographies of Seafaring, Masculinities, and Globalzation. University of Minnesota Press/University of the Philippines Press, 2011/2013.
  • Fajardo, Kale Bantigue. "Transportation: Translating Filipino/Filipino American Tomboy Masculinities Through Seafaring and Migration." GLQ 14:2/3
  • Fajardo, Kale Bantigue. ""Of Galleons and Globalization"." Mains™l Haul: A Journal of Pacific Maritime History 38(1-2) (2002): 61-65.
  • U of Minnesota Grant-in-Aid of Scholarship and Artistry, summer 2012 - winter 2015
  • Imagine Grant, 2012 - 2014
  • Insitute for Advanced Study Residential Fellowship (UMN, Twin Cities), January 2009 - May 2009
  • President's Faculty Multicultural Research Award (UMN, Twin Cities), 2008 - 2009
  • Fulbright Dissertation Fellowship, Fall 1997 - Spring 1998