Throughout my academic training at San Francisco State University (B.A.), New York University (M.A.), and Howard University (Ph.D.), I studied intersections among culture and communication with an emphasis on intercultural communication. Upon completing my doctorate, I undertook post-doctoral training in transnationalism, diaspora, and migration in the Communication Studies Department at the University of Denver. Currently, I am a Professor hired in the area of intercultural communication (also known as critical intercultural studies) in the Department of Communication & Journalism at the University of New Mexico. I characterize myself as a critical cultural communication scholar whose research interests focus on intersectional queer politics of race; gender, sexuality, and the body; desire, romance, and relationality; representation, visibility, popular culture; and transnationalism, diaspora, and migration.

My research program, which engages with the broader field of culture and communication, is an embodiment of my undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral training and ongoing faculty research development. I have an in-depth understanding of the history of culture and communication as an interdisciplinary field where diverse, multiple sets of theoretical and methodological approaches co-exist together with tensions. However, my current approach is specifically relevant to critical intercultural communication. I view intersections among culture and communication as structures, conditions, and processes where historically imbalanced relations of power that produce the politics of differences and that reify, resist, and shift shared, often taken-for-granted beliefs, values, and rituals in/across borders.

To actualize my current approach, I deploy queer of color critique to examine the interlocking systems of power and domination rooted in socially constructed categories of differences, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, nation, coloniality, language, and the body. I privilege an intersectional queer analytic that centralizes historically saturated and cultural nuances of knowledge(s) emerged from lived experiences of minoritized sexual and gender people of color. It interrogates the complexities and contradictions of power, social institutions, interactions, and processes. My mobilization of queer of color critique elaborates the issues and concerns of globalization, transnationalism, postcolonialism, migration, or diaspora grounded in social activism and advocacy.

Guided by queer of color critique as described above, I engage in a fusion of critical cultural performative methodologies to interrogate intersections among culture and communication pertaining to socially constructed categories of differences. My primary methodological choices grounded in the politics of empowering historically marginalized people and groups are critical cultural performative approaches to autoethnography, interview narratives, and rhetorical theory and criticism. For example, autoethnography allows me to reflexively center my body as a platform of knowing to conduct cultural critique. Since I can never detach my subjectivity from the research I am conducting, I unapologetically share my transnational queer of color narrative as a starting point of critical research to question and critique intersections among culture and communication. And the second approach complements my first. Interview narratives obtained from co-researchers cultivate, expand, and strengthen intersubjective spaces between myself (auto) and culture (ethno) through the research/investigation (graphy) of the way power works, shapes realities, and creates differences. Lastly, I deploy critical rhetorical theory and criticism to examine structural techniques and technologies of narratives and discourses about differences represented by media and social media texts.


From the aforementioned multi-methodological approach to my current research program, I address the following questions:

What culture-specific and text-specific nuances of “intersectional” knowledge are embedded in the material realities of queer people of color?

How do queer people of color perform sexual desire, romance, and relationality?

How do technologies alter, shape, or reinforce queer performances of sex?

How are queer people of color represented and underrepresented in popular culture?

What are the salient characteristics of contemporary trans-Asian/American connections?

What signifiers represent contemporary trans-Asian (dis)connections to Blackness in relational, cultural, and mediated contexts?