Queer Migration Network Initiative, QMN

Established by FAC member and past director, Professor Eithne Luibhéid, the UA Institute for LGBT Studies' Queer Migration Network (QMN) is an interdisciplinary research initiative that critically examines how migration processes fuel the production, contestation and remaking of sexual and gender norms, cultures, communities, and politics that articulate hierarchies of race, class, and geopolitics. QMN builds from the Institute's proximity to the U.S./Mexico border; our location within transnational and transborder circuits and cultures; and multiple migrant, refugee, queer, trans, racial justice, and resistant communities. In addition to its interdisciplinary research emphasis, the QMN initiative includes conferences, publications, scholarly presentations, outreach, and curricular development with faculty, visiting scholars, and graduate students.

FOAI Request 2017Call for PapersSelected Research & Writing | Media | Conferences & Symposia | UA Courses

FOIA Request 2017

See my request for information about the numbers of immigrants admitted to the United States based on same-sex marriage and the USCIS response.

Call for Papers

No Bans, No Walls, No Detention Cells: A UA Graduate Student Conference on Migration

Situated 70 miles from the U.S. Mexico border and in close proximity to the Eloy and Florence detention centers, Tucson is highly politicized and often subject to racist policies and legislation directed towards its migrant populations. Tucson also has a vibrant history of innovative resistance by local queer migrant-led organizations. These political circumstances and creative interventions prompt us to enter into critical dialogues about international migration across graduate programs at the University of Arizona.

The Queer Migration Network (QMN) is hosting a graduate student conference titled “No Bans, No Walls, No Detention Cells: A UA Graduate Student Conference on Migration.” The conference will be held at the University of Arizona on Friday, April 6th, 2018. Conference attendance is free and open to the campus and the general public. This conference brings together graduate students from across UA departments and disciplines to share immigration research. Panels and a keynote speaker will center scholarship that explores how sexuality, gender, race, class, religion, geopolitics and other hierarchies comprise sites for struggle and possible transformation of current immigration systems.

This conference aims to challenge the everyday violence of border militarization, travel bans, expanding detention, and larger power structures affecting the most marginalized amongst our communities. Generous funding for this conference has been provided by the Institute for LGBT Studies, the Mary Bernard Aguirre Professorship, and the UA Department of Gender and Women’s Studies.

We welcome submissions from UA graduate students from a variety of fields such as the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In addition to presenting research that addresses the intersections of international migration with gender, sexuality, and other inequalities, we ask that papers close with a gesture that seeks to transform our current imaginaries in regards to the collective liberation of migrants. As Trinh T. Minh-ha writes, we seek works that demonstrate “the ability to expand our views and to create new, unexpected relationships among things, events, and people”* and that invites us to imagine alternatives to current migration regimes.

The recommended format is 20-minute presentations. Please send any of the following 3 kinds of submissions in the form of a 250-word abstract or artist statement to ua.gqmc@gmail.com :

  • Reflections from scholar-activists
  • Original artworks
  • Academic research

Deadline: 30 November 2017

*Minh-ha, Trinh T. elsewhere, within here: immigration, refugeeism and the boundary event. Routledge, 2011.


Queer Migrations 2: Illegalization, Detention, and Deportation
We are seeking academic, activist and artistic contributions to this project. We will eventually publish three kinds of submissions: 1) short (1,000 words or less) reflections from activists, 2) original art works, and 3) academic research (6,000 words or less). Download the CFP for submission instructions.

Deadline: 1 May 2017

Selected Research & Writing

“Queer Intimacies: Networking Among Queer Migration Academics, Activists, and Artists.”
2017, Seed Grant by the Institute for LGBT Studies and UA Confluencenter supporting a reading and grantwriting group on queer migration.

"Stand Against Racism and Homophobia: Vote NO on Propositions 100, 102, 103, 107 and 300​" & "Continued Stand Against Racism and Homophobia"
2006, Joint Statements (Pre-Post Election) from Coleción de Derechos Humanos and Wingspan.

Queer Migrations
2005, Edited Collection (ed. Eithne Luibhéid and Lionel Cantú Jr.) Published by University of Minnesota Press.


Queer Alternatives to Border Walls

Given the QMN’s commitment to transforming and abolishing violent nation-state immigration controls, we’ve taken this space to highlight several queer alternatives to the proposed U.S./Mexico border wall, which were created by artist collectives and design firms from around the world. 

Online roundtable marking the 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Boutilier (that affirmed the deportation of a migrant for having sex with other men) at OutHistory, May 2017.

UCD Humanities Institute, podcast featuring Prof. Eithne Luibhéid.

Eithne Luibhéid - Homonationalism, Migration Controls, and Queer Futures

In this episode a recording from Queering Ireland 2015, which took place in Boston College in August. The conference was co-hosted by UCD Humanities Institute and St Mary's University Halifax and this podcast features a keynote lecture by Eithne Luibhéid from the University of Arizona. Her paper was entitled "Homonationalism, Migration Controls, and Queer Futures".

Imagine Otherwise - Ideas On Fire, podcast featuring Prof. Karma Chavez.

Episode 19: Karma Chávez, author of Queer Migration Politics

Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Karma R. Chávez is an associate professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latino/a Studies at the University of Texas – Austin.


Conferences & Symposia

A Different Dream: A Symposium on Undocumented Immigration, Gender, and Sexuality (2016, CalState - Los Angeles).
This one-day symposium brings together prominent scholars and student activists from around the nation to discuss critical issues surrounding undocumented immigration, gender, and sexuality in the United States.  The symposium will feature individual talks and roundtable discussions examining the political and economic contours of undocumented immigration, intersections of labor and gender practices, issues around family separation and reunification, and problems facing queer and transgender undocumented communities.

Queer Migrations: Homeland Insecurities, Violence, and Belonging (2014, University of Arizona - Tucson).
The conference brings together activists, scholars, students, archivists, artists, and other interested groups in order to: Center queer migrant lives, experiences, cultures, struggles, and transformations; Connect queer migration experiences with contemporary struggles against (neo)colonialism, global capitalism, slavery, racism and (hetero)sexism, war, the prison industrial complex, and bio- and necro-politics; Make these connections at different scales (including local, regional, national, and transnational), and across different time periods; Problematize the idea that state border controls create safety, security and order, and instead explore how they legitimize the abandonment of racialized, queered, poor populations to precarious conditions and premature death;  Ensure that nation-state migration and citizenship policies are addressed both on their own terms and in relation to wider scales, histories, and processes;  Consider arguments and strategies that don’t involve winning privileges at someone else’s expense, and that seek to build bridges between struggles; Assess the current state of queer migration scholarship and activism, and imagine/envision future directions.

Sexualities and Homeland (In)Securities Conference (2006, University of Arizona - Tucson).
The Institute for LGBT Studies hosted a national conference that critically examined how sexual politics has become a critical terrain for local, national and global “homeland security” strategies. The presenters addressed how struggles for sexual, racial, gender, economic, and cultural justice have been affected and reconfigured as a result.

UA Courses


Gender, Sexuality and International Migration (GWS 696M)

Focusing on contemporary migration across international borders, we explore how migration contributes to the production, contestation, and remaking of dominant gender and sexual norms as these articulate hierarchies of race, class, and geopolitics. We particularly examine how the selection, incorporation or “illegalization,” and governance of migrants provide occasions for contesting, renegotiating, or affirming dominant gender and sexual norms; how migrants contest multiple exclusions and refashion identities, communities, and politics through gender and sexuality; and how transnational social fields, grounded in histories of empire and global capitalism, shape and are reshaped by these processes. We link these changes to other kinds of flows across borders, including of capital, goods, information, images, and technology. Moreover, we historicize and critically interrogate the formation and function of nation-state borders in relation to the regulation of sexualities and genders at multiple scales. We also analyze the circulation, impact, and contestation of hegemonic discourses about gender and sexuality that affect migration possibilities and materially impact on migrants’ lives (including discourses on HIV/AIDS, same-sex relationships, sex work, desirable family forms, and human rights standards). We consider how these processes also implicate people who do not migrate but are nonetheless affected by the dynamics of transnational migration and its governance.


Gender, Sexuality, and International Migration (GWS 325)

This course explores how gender and sexual hierarchies shape and become reshaped by international migration. Focusing especially on migration from Mexico and the Philippines to the United States, we examine how the selection, incorporation, and governance of immigrants provide occasions for challenging, renegotiating, or affirming dominant gender and sexual norms; how immigrants contest multiple exclusions and refashion identities, communities, workplaces, and politics through gender and sexuality; and how transnational social fields, grounded in histories of empire and global capitalism, shape and are reshaped as a result. Throughout the course, gender and sexuality are theorized as intersecting with and reproducing inequalities of race, class, culture, and geopolitics.