Kale B Fajardo

Associate Professor of American Studies and Asian American Studies & Director of Graduate Studies (American Studies)

Accepting PhD Students


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Personal profile

Kale B. Fajardo is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Fajardo's academic training is in cultural anthropology, Philippine Studies, Asian American Studies, and feminist/gender/queer studies. He completed his MA and PhD (both in cultural anthropology) at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His Bachelor's degree is from Cornell University (Human Development Studies major; SE Asian Studies and Feminist Studies concentrations.) Fajardo's first book, Filipino Crosscurrents: Oceanographies of Seafaring, Masculinities and Globalization (University of Minnesota Press, 2011, reprinted by University of the Philippines Press, 2013) is an interdisciplinary ethnography that analyzes and documents the cultural politics of Filipino migrant and maritime masculinities in the local/global shipping industry, in the context of local/global neoliberal capitalism (1998-2001). Professor Fajardo uses postcolonial theory, critical race theory, queer theory, and feminist theory to analyze the aforementioned phenomena and issues. In particular, Fajardo's book is concerned with how the Philippine state used Filipino seamen or Overseas Filipino workers (or the figure of the Filipino seaman and OFW) to promote neoliberal and neocolonial economic policies and development projects in Manila and the broader context of the Philippines at the end of the 20th Century. His book is also concerned with how Filipino seamen articulate or enact alternative and resistant masculinities (compared to dominant state sanctioned and created masculinities.) Filipino Crosscurrents is based on fieldwork that Fajardo conducted in Manila, Oakland, as well as on board an industrial container ship that traveled from Oakland to Hong Kong (via Osaka, Tokyo, and Kiaoshung.) Fajardo's recent publications include "Queering and Transing the Great Lakes: Filipino/a Tomboy Masculinities and Manhoods Across Waters" (published in GLQ, 2014) and "Decolonizing Manila-Men and St. Malo, Louisiana: A Queer Post-colonial Asian American Critique" (published in Filipino Studiies: Palimpsests of Filipino Studies edited by Martin F. Manalansan and Augusto Espiritu, NYU Press, 2016.) Fajardo is currently working on two book projects: Chasing Carlos: Filipino Migrant Masculinities – From Magellan’s Circumnavigation to Contemporary Global Shipping and Rivers, Canoes, and the Sea: Re-imagining Malolos (Bulacan, Philippines) in the Contexts of Nationalism, Tourism, and Climate Change.  

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Santa Cruz

Award Date: May 15 2004

MA, University of Santa Cruz

Award Date: May 15 1996

BS, Cornell University

Award Date: May 15 1990

External Positions

Adjunct Faculty, California State University Monterey Bay

Sep 2004Dec 2004

Grants Writer, Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center


Development Director, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission


Grants Writer, Global Exchange


Adjunct Faculty, Vista Community College (Berkeley, CA)


Research interests

  • Philippines/Philippine Studies
  • Filipino masculinities
  • Filipino/a migration
  • racialized and classed genders/sexualities
  • marine/cultural heritage
  • climate change - Philippines
  • Filipino/a American Histories
  • queer theory/queer of color critique
  • space/place
  • Ocean Worlds - Pacific
  • globalization
  • Philippine/Filipino maritime history
  • Asian American Studies
  • Critical Ethnic Studies
  • American Studies

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Research Output

Decolonizing Manila-Men and St. Maló, Louisiana: A queer postcolonial Asian American critique

Fajardo, K. B., Jan 1 2016, Filipino Studies: Palimpsests of Nation and Diaspora. New York University Press, p. 197-226 30 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Queering and transing the Great Lakes: Filipino/a tomboy masculinities and manhoods across waters

Fajardo, K. B., Jan 27 2014, In : GLQ. 20, 1-2, p. 115-140 26 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 4 Scopus citations

    Transportation: Translating filipino and filipino American tomboy masculinities through global migration and seafaring

    Fajardo, K. B., May 26 2008, In : GLQ. 14, 2-3, p. 403-424 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Scopus citations

    Transportation: Translating Filipino/Filipino American Tomboy Masculinities Through Seafaring and Migration

    Fajardo, K. B., Apr 2008, In : GLQ. 14, p. 403-424

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Fellowships, Honors, and Prizes

    Institute for Advanced Study Faculty Fellows, Spring 2009

    DeJaeghere, Joan (Recipient), Fajardo, Kale B (Recipient), Taussig, Karen-Sue (Recipient), Scandura, Jani (Recipient), Emad, Mitra C (Recipient), Larasati, Rachmi Diyah (Recipient) & Michael D Lackey (Recipient), Jan 1 2009

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively