Emmanuel David (NHC Fellow, 2022–23)

Project Title

Trans-American Orientalism: The Asia-Pacific Encounters of Transgender Pioneer Christine Jorgensen, 1961-1969

University of Colorado Boulder

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Fellowship Work Summary, 2022–23

Emmanuel David is associate professor of women and gender studies at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he also codirects the certificate program in LGBTQ studies. He is the author of Women of the Storm: Civic Activism after Hurricane Katrina (University of Illinois Press, 2017) and coeditor of the anthology The Women of Katrina: How Gender, Race, and Class Matter in an American Disaster (Vanderbilt University Press, 2012). His recent research on gender and sexuality in the Philippines has focused on a wide range of topics, including global call centers, the politics of beauty pageants, sex work and militarism, and contemporary art and performance. His scholarship has appeared in ASAP/JournalFeminist FormationsGender & SocietyGLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay StudiesRadical History ReviewSexualitiesTSQ: Transgender Studies QuarterlyVerge: Studies in Global Asias, and WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly

David’s current project is tentatively titled Trans-American Orientalism: The Asia-Pacific Encounters of Transgender Pioneer Christine Jorgensen, 1961–1969. Drawing on multilingual sources from archives in Asia, Australia, Denmark, and the United States, David’s project explores Jorgensen’s little-known performance tour across Asia and the Pacific, especially her extended stay in the Philippines. By chronicling this understudied chapter of Jorgensen’s life, David reassesses her place in mid-twentieth-century trans history from a transpacific perspective.

Selected Publications

Women of the Storm

  • David, Emmanuel. “The Transgender Touch: On the Handmade Sculptures of Frankie Toan.” ASAP/Journal 7, no. 1 (January 2022): 171-98.
  • David, Emmanuel. “Transpinay: Genealogy of a Term.” Sexualities (July 2021).
  • David, Emmanuel. “Transgender Archipelagos.” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 5, no. 3 Trans-in-Asia, Asia-in-Trans (August 2018): 332-54.
  • David, Emmanuel. Women of the Storm: Civic Activism after Hurricane Katrina. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2017.
  • David, Emmanuel. “Purple-Collar Labor: Transgender Workers and Queer Value at Global Call Centers in the Philippines.” Gender & Society 29, no. 2 (2015): 169-94.