Queering the State of Exception: LGBTIQ Resistance Amidst Carceral Regimes in El Salvador


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships


Global & International Studies


This project interrogates anti-LGBTIQ violence in El Salvador by identifying it as a state-sponsored carceral regime rather than a localized condition re/produced at an interpersonal level. It asks what mechanisms underpin state persecution of LGBTIQ Salvadorans and what resistance strategies this community embraces in an increasingly carceral state and amidst global policing projects. The project’s ethnographic field work and archival methods illuminate abolitionist visions of justice rooted in LGBTIQ liberation. Intervening in scholarship that centers migration and asylum, this research recognizes that there are many queer and transgender people who never leave the country and thus reconfigures the mapping of LGBTIQ suffering to capture the dynamic geographies of their social movements. This project problematizes deeply embedded understandings of police and prisons as the solution to harm and turns directly to LGBTIQ Salvadorans to identify active and emerging practices of resistance and worldmaking that materialize a future divested from carcerality.