Office: Mesa Vista Hall 2136 / Humanities 454
Email: brandzel@unm.edu

Assistant Professor

Professor Brandzel's research fields include the intersections of feminist, queer, postcolonial and critical race theories; citizenship studies; legal studies; the rhetorical and political appeals to history and law for progressive change; and the relationship between normative identities and normative knowledges within academic and legal institutions.

Brandzel's dissertation, which she is currently revising into a manuscript tentatively titled Queering the Subject(s) of Citizenship: Beyond the Normative Citizen in Law and History, investigates the legal, historical, and cultural constructions of U.S. citizenship within the context of U.S. imperialism and empire. The manuscript provides an interdisciplinary, comparative analysis as to how feminist, queer, critical race, and anti-colonial contestations to the norms of citizenship often require the employment of subjugated identity categories and, moreover, anti-intersectional strategies - that is, strategies that deny the mutuality and contingency of race, gender, sexuality and nation. Her work not only investigates how progressive appeals can, inadvertently, work against each other and replicate identities of difference, but also critically interrogates two common strategies used to contest normative citizenship, namely demands for historical revision and legal redress. Queering the Subject(s) showcases the tension between the call to deploy multiple historical narratives in order to transform legal subordinations versus critiques of history as a form of normative citizenship production.

Brandzel's next comparative project interrogates the relationships between imperialism and sexuality by investigating the uses and deployments of "transnational" and "queer" objects and subjects within both the U.S. academy and U.S. legal institutions. The agenda is to examine the increasing demand for queer and transnational objects/subjects via analyses of U.S. imperialism, the history of western hegemonic feminism, and the increasing "spread" of GLBT liberation rhetoric, queer mobility and queer consumption. The project will include case studies involving the legal and cultural deployments of gender and sexuality in U.S. asylum cases; recent changes in U.S. immigration law with a specific focus on same-sex relationships and the "American family"; the queering of "sex" via transgender case law and its connection to intersectionality; and an analysis of the struggles over the sexual and the transnational as objects of study within Women's Studies, GLBT Studies, American Studies and Ethnic Studies.


Amy L. Brandzel, "Queering Citizenship? Same-Sex Marriage and the State," GLQ 11.2 (March 2005): 171-204.

Amy L. Brandzel and Jigna Desai, "Race, Violence, and Terror: The Cultural Defensibility of Heteromasculine Citizenship in the Virginia Tech Massacre and the Don Imus Affair," Journal of Asian American Studies (forthcoming)

Amy L. Brandzel, "Haunted by Citizenship: Whitenormative Citizen-Subjects and the Uses of History in Women's Studies," Feminist Studies (forthcoming)

Amy L. Brandzel and Jigna Desai, "The Paradox of Impossible Desires: Queer Diasporic Critique and the Logics of Intelligibility," Journal of the History of Sexuality (forthcoming)

Amy L. Brandzel, "Legal Detours in U.S. Empire: Colonizing Race in Law, History and Hawai'i" (Under Review)


Professor Brandzel teaches courses focused on feminist, queer and critical race theories; postcolonial queer studies; sex, race and citizenship; intersectional legal theories; and history and methods of feminist studies.

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