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Personal profile

Biography

Jarrod Hayes received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York in 1996. Before moving to Monash, he taught for 22 years at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Much of his research focuses on the intersection between French postcolonial studies and queer theory. His first book, Queer Nations: Marginal Sexualities in the Maghreb, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2000. In it, he examines representations of non-normative sexualities, gender insubordination and sexual dissidence in the French-language literatures of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to argue that when North African writers include such representations, they are not just supporting sexual diversity and making the Nation’s “family values” more inclusive, both of which they are certainly doing; they are also more generally challenging homogenous conceptualizations of nationality and national identity that help to consolidate power in the hands of post-independence national elites.

His second book, Queer Roots for the Diaspora, Ghosts in the Family Tree, published by the University of Michigan Press in 2016, examines the role of roots, or narratives of origin, within the African, Jewish and Armenian diasporas. In this comparative approach to queer diaspora studies, he argues that, rather than essentializing identities, the narratives analysed therein acknowledge their own fiction-making with regards to identity as well as challenge the heterosexual family trees that conventionally structure roots narratives. As a result, these stories queer the roots of diaspora to imagine diasporic communities that are diverse, not exclusive, that conjure up, not awaythe ghosts of past exclusions.

Professor Hayes is also the co-editor, along with Margaret R. Higonnet and William J. Spurlin, of Comparatively Queer: Interrogating Identities across Time and Cultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), which assembles essays that queer comparative studies and theorize the importance of insisting on comparative approaches to queer studies in a “double crossing” that they playfully characterize as “going both ways.” Indeed, they argue, the expression “comparatively queer” would ideally become queerly redundant if the kind of intervention into field-defining we hoped to be engaging in is successful. 

In his current book project, Reading across the Colour Line: Racialization in the French Americas, Professor Hayes deploys the methodology of close reading to theorize what literary studies can contribute to the critical study of race. He thereby undertakes a comparatist study of racialization in the French Americas to argue that representations of race in Louisiana and the Caribbean become legible only when one abandons Anglo-American assumptions about racialdistinctions. While certainly far from the first to take on commonplace understandings of race that conflate it with visible difference, this project examines texts that resist Anglo-American definitions of race, locates dissonance between these definitions and French representations of race and theorizes the resulting tensions as productive sites for the denaturalization of race as historically and culturally contingent.

Keywords

  • Francophone
  • Queer theory
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Feminism
  • literary theory
  • French Americas
  • Africa
  • Caribbean
  • Canada
  • Comparative literature
  • gay studies
  • contemporary French studies
  • nineteenth-century French studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • film studies
  • crime fiction

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1995 2018

Derrida’s Queer Root(s)

Hayes, J. L., 2017, Derrida and Queer Theory. O’Rourke, M. (ed.). New York: Punctum Books, p. 164–82

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Eatin’ Tail, Suckin’ Head: Moving across the French Americas with Queer Talk about Food

Hayes, J. L., 2017, In : Australian Journal of French Studies. 54, 1, p. 14–28

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Queer Double Cross: Doing (It with) Comp Lit

Hayes, J. L., 2017, Futures of Comparative Literature: ACLA State of the Discipline Report. Heise, U. K. (ed.). Abingdon Oxon UK: Routledge, p. 98–105 8 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

From Voodoo Queens to Drag Queens: Dany Laferrière’s Queer Montréal—French American, Black Atlantic City

Hayes, J. L., 2016, In : Québec Studies . 61, p. 115–35

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Prizes

University of Michigan Press Book Award

Jarrod Landin Hayes (Recipient), 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)