Collegiate Affiliation

Kale B. Fajardo is an Associate Professor of Transnational Asian American Studies in the Department of American Studies and the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He is the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of American Studies (Fall 2023-spring 2027.) 

Fajardo's research interests include: contemporary and historical Filipino/a/x migration (including seafaring); Filipino/a/x visual cultures (e.g. photography, films, art), the climate crisis in the Philippines, especially in the Manila Bay Area; queer and trans of color critique; and queer and trans* ecologies. He is the author of Filipino Crosscurrents: Oceanographies of Seafaring, Masculinities and Globalization (University of Minnesota Press, 2011; reprinted by the University of the Philippines Press, 2013). He is also a Co-Editor of Q + A: Queer Voices in North America (Temple University Press, 2021.) Fajardo has published in journals and anthologies such as GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies; Mains'l Haul: A Journal of Pacific Maritime History; Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity; The Transgender Reader 2; Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora; Hydrohumanities: Transforming Currents for Uncertain Futures; and The Critical Filipinx Studies; among others. 

Fajardo is currently working on his second (solo) book entitled, Another Archipelago: Filipino Migrant Masculinities and Visual Cultures–from St. Malo, Louisiana to Portland, Oregon. In this project, he analyzes the cultural politics of how dominant white social actors and institutions historically imagined and visualized Filipino migrant men and their racialized and classed masculinities. He reads these colonial images from the US alongside the lived everyday experiences of Filipino migrant men and how they visualized and represented themselves, for example through "amateur" or "snapshot" photography and other narratives and kinds of storytelling. Fajardo is particularly interested in exploring the entanglements between Filipiino/a/x migration/travel/mobilities with race, class, gender, and sexuality, and connected photographic and visual practices in locales beyond major cities of California and New York–places/ regions such as St. Malo, Louisiana; the Central Valley and Central Coast of California; Minneapolis and Chicago in the Midwest; and Astoria and Portland (Oregon) in the Pacific Northwest. This interdisciplinary book project spans the late 19th century to the present.

Fajardo teaches undergraduate courses such as: The US Since 9/11; Comparative Genders and Sexualities; The US and Global Migration (aka The US on an Immigrant Planet); The US in International Perspective; Critical Perspectives on the American Dream; Contemporary Perspectives on Asian America; Americans Abroad; among others. He is accepting graduate student advisees who work in Philippine-American Studies, Filipinx Studies, Asian American Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, Global Studies, queer and/or trans of color critique, masculinity studies, and visual anthropology, as well as students who are interested in learning about and using ethnographic research methods and/or experimental/auto-ethnographic writing in their dissertations.

Fajardo has received an Australian Research Council Grant; a Grant in Aid of Scholarship and Artistry (UMN-TC); Imagine Grants (UMN-TC); and a Fulbright-Hayes Dissertation Fellowship. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of The Critical Ethnic Studies Journal, and also serves on the Advisory Boards for The Island Studies Journal; Verge: Studies in Global Asia; and Lambda Nordica. Fajardo is also currently a Senior Fellow at The Center for Applied Transgender Studies. 

Educational Background & Specialties
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Educational Background

  • PhD: Cultural Anthropology, University of California at Santa Cruz
  • MA: Cultural Anthropology, University of California at Santa Cruz
  • BS: Human Development Studies/Feminist Studies/Southeast Asian Studies, Cornell University


  • Gender and sexuality studies
  • Queer theory
  • Queer of color critique
  • Masculinity studies
  • Transgender studies
  • Philippine studies
  • Filipinix studies
  • Asian American studies
  • American studies
  • Global studies
  • Globalization studies
  • Migration studies
  • Auto-ethnography
  • Santa Cruz School of Ethnography
  • Visual cultures
  • Visual anthropology
  • Environmental humanities