Date of Award

May 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Member

Walt Hunter

Committee Member

Matthew Hooley

Committee Member

Maziyar Faridi


Queer theory has long limited its revolutionary potential by prioritizing white gay cis men in the fight for political and social change. Theorists like Roderick Ferguson, José Esteban Muñoz, Gloria Anzaldua, Audre Lorde, and Jasbir Puar, to name a few, have expanded the foundations of queer theory to account for queer people of color and the potential for queer futurity. The innovative work on queer utopia that is set up in Muñoz’s Cruising Utopia is the foundation for the performance and art analyses that shape this project. To contextualize the queer utopian looking that I find crucial to these objects, I will conduct a close reading, or close viewing, of each to reveal how they challenge a definition of queer utopia that throws hope on a future of queerness that we cannot access yet. This thesis will argue that visual art and digital performance produced by queer, BIPOC artists has taken over the critical work of queer theory by revisiting its emphasis on futurity. By enacting a kind of queer utopian desire that is rooted in looking back at both the trauma and joy of the past and practicing quotidian ritual and affirmation, Random Acts of Flyness, Heavenly Brown Body, and Alok Menon’s Instagram profile have begun to do the work of theorizing better futures.



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