Chronicles of Dissent: Respect After Death, Trans-Temporality, and Christopher Lee's Archives of Contest -- May 6, 2019

Event Date: 

Monday, May 6, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Asian American Studies Conference Room - HSSB 5024

Event Contact: 

Cora Danielson at or 805.893.8039

Grounded in queer of color critique and postcolonial approaches to historicism, this talk utilizes Dr. Lau’s methodology of trans-temporality to navigate the archives of mixed race Chinese American trans man Christopher Lee. Lee was one of the first filmmakers documenting transmasculine people of color in the Bay Area, he cofounded the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival in 1997, and his misgendering after death sparked the passage of California’s Respect After Death Act (2014) allowing for the revision of gender identity markers on death certificates posthumously. Dr. Lau will read Lee’s autoethnographic documentary Christopher’s Chronicles: Christopher Does Dallas (1997) trans-temporally, demonstrating how dissenting narratives within the film align with legacies of Asian American Critique, refusing and contesting a reliance on legibility and visibility as processes for trans of color acceptance and safety. 
Jacob Lau is a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow through the Program for Faculty Diversity in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Along with Cameron Partridge he 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), for which he also coauthored an introduction. He was previously a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine.