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207 Smith Building
CB# 3135
Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
919-962-3908 (phone)
Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow – Program for Faculty Diversity 2018 – July 1, 2020
Assistant Professor, July 1, 2020

B.A., English, University of California – Berkeley, 2006
M.T.S., Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Religion, Harvard Divinity School, 2009
Ph.D., Gender Studies, University of California – Los Angeles, 2016

Areas of Interest:
Transgender Studies, Queer/Trans of Color Critique, Asian American Critique, Women of Color Feminism, Affect, Temporalities, Masculinities

Jacob Lau is an Assistant Professor of WGST and Director of Sexuality Studies. Lau’s research interests include postcolonial and queer of color theories of temporality and historicity, transgender studies, Asian American Critique, masculinities, and narratology. While the field of transgender studies emerged at the boundaries of feminist and queer theory, only recently have scholars begun to theorize “trans” as an intersectional category that is always formed through constructions of race, gender, class, sexuality, nationality, and imperialism. Lau’s manuscript-in-progress provisionally entitled Falling Between the Times: Trans-Temporality, and Cisnormative Historicity contributes to this conversation by arguing for reading trans of color history, archives, and cultural representation as a different experience of gendered and racialized time, aligned with women of color feminist affect.

Along with Cameron Partridge, Lau is the coeditor of Dr. Laurence Michael Dillon’s 1962 trans memoir Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Gender and Spiritual Transitions (Fordham University Press, 2016). Dillon was the first person assigned female at birth to transition to male with both hormones and surgery, he was also the first white European to be ordained in Tibetan Buddhism. Partridge and Lau also coauthored an introduction to memoir.

Prior to arriving in Chapel Hill, Lau was a University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Film and Media Studies at UC Irvine.

Courses Taught:
Narrating a Trans Self: Introduction to Transgender Studies – Fall 2019

Select Publications:
Now You See Me, But You Don’t: Neoliberal Visibility and the Politics of Being Counted” With Bo Rittapa. Feral Feminisms Fall 2019.

Trans*Historicities: A Roundtable Discussion” contributor. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, November 2018.

Transition as Decreation: A Transfeminist Phenomenology of Mixed/Queer OrientationGraduate Journal of Social Science, September 2018.

In His Own Way, In His Own Time: An Introduction to Out of the Ordinary.” With Cameron Partridge. Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Gender and Spiritual Transitions. Fordham University Press, 2016.