Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson

Joshua Chambers-Letson conducts research and teaches courses in performance theory, critical race theory, contemporary art and performance, political theory, and queer of color critique.  He is the author of After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life (NYU Press, forthcoming 2018) and A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America (NYU Press, 2013), winner of ATHE’s Outstanding Book Award in 2014. On research leave academic year 2017-2018, he is working on a book with co-author Yves Winter (Political Science, McGill University) about a nineteenth century Spanish shipwreck, the Nuestra Señora de la Mercedes, and the contemporary entanglements between sovereignty, slavery, capital, colonialism, performance, and state power. Other writing has appeared in Social Text, Political Theory, Criticism, Cultural Studies, MELUS, Journal of Asian American Studies, women & performance, and TDR. With Ann Pellegrini and Tavia Nyong’o he is a series co-editor of the Sexual Cultures series at NYU Press.


PhD Performance Studies, New York University
MA Performance Studies, New York University
BA Liberal Arts, Eugene Lang College of the New School

Selected Publications

After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life, NY: New York University Press, forthcoming 2018

A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America, NY: New York University Press, 2013

“Withdrawal” in Tehching Hsieh: Doing Time, ed. Adrian Heathfield. (Venice, IT: La Biennale de Venice) 2017: 36-44

“Performance’s Mode of Reproduction I: Searching for Danh Võ’s Mother.” women & performance: a journal of feminist theory (Vol. 26, 2-3: 122-145) 2016

with Yves Winter, “Shipwrecked Sovereignty: Neoliberalism and a Disputed Sunken Treasure” in Political Theory.  (Vol 43: 3: 287-311) 2015

 “Compensatory Hypertrophy, or All About My Mother” in Social Text. Special Issue: Being With: On the Work of José Esteban Muñoz. (121, Vol 32: 4: 13-24) 2014

“The Inoperative Iphigenia: Race, Law, and Freedom in Michi Barall’s Rescue Me” in Theater Survey. (Vol 55, 2: 145-164) 2014

“Contracting Justice: The Viral Strategy of Felix Gonzalez-Torres” in Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts. (Vol 51, 4: 559-587) 2010

“The Queer Politics of Failure: Nao Bustamante’s Hero” in The Drama Review (TDR). (T195: 174-181) 2007

Selected Courses

PERF-ST 515 Asian American Aesthetics and Performance
PERF-ST 515 Marxism and Performance
PERF-ST 515 The Archive and the Body
PERF-ST 515 Staging Sovereignty, Performing Power
PERF-ST 515 Performing Racial Exception
PERF-ST 330 Censorship and the Culture Wars
PERF-ST 216  Performance and Culture

Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson

Associate Professor


Performance Studies


70 Arts Circle Drive
Room 5-153
Evanston, IL 60208