Melisa Casumbal-SalazarMy research and teaching interests include gender and transnational feminisms; indigenous politics; politics of Southeast Asia and the Southeast Asian diaspora; Asian and Asian American Cultural Studies; the politics of violence; race and racialization; embodiment; decolonial and feminist political theory. 

I am at work on a book manuscript titled Unintelligible Bodies: Gender, Race, and Necropower in the Philippines.  Based on fieldwork in 2009-2010 in the Cordillera, Philippines as a Fulbright scholar, the book examines how concerns about the feminine body shape conceptions of political subjectivity in the Philippines.  Through analysis of events, visual culture, activist and official historical narratives, and a wide array of modes of socio-political transformation, I demonstrate how Filipinas negotiate variant forms of necropower - sovereign power utilized to exercise control over mortality and its enabling conditions (Mbembe 2003) - to render themselves legible as political subjects.  I theorize how necropower is gendered and racialized in the contemporary Philippines, and how it intersects with neoliberal policy imperatives, by focusing on the feminine body as a locus of both subjection and resistance to necropower. 


2012 Ph.D., University of Hawai'i - Mānoa, Department of  Political Science, Honolulu, HI.  Graduate Certificates: International Cultural Studies and Philippine Studies.

2004 M.A., Department of Political Science, University of Hawai'i -  Mānoa.

2003 M.A., Asian Studies Program, University of Hawai'i - Mānoa.

1996 B.A., Amherst College, Interdisciplinary Studies (Women's  and Gender Studies, Asian Studies, Political Science), Magna cum laude.


"The Indeterminacy of the Philippine Indigenous Subject: Indigeneity, Temporality, and Cultural Governance," Amerasia Journal, 41:1 2015.

"Narratives of the Vulval Curse in Bontok and Kalinga, Philippines," in Mary Mostafanezhad, Suzanne Finney, Guido Pigliasco, and Forrest Young, eds., Cultural Encounters: Ethnographic Updates from Asia and the Pacific Islands, Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press 2014.

See my full CV here: CV


Coming in Spring 2016: POL 100: Race, Gender, Sexuality and the Politics of the Body and POL 225: Introduction to Indigenous Politics

RAES 105: Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies (Fall 2015), with Assistant Professor of Art History and Visual Culture Studies, Lisa Uddin - syllabus

POL 351: Necropower and the Politics of Violence (Spring 2014 syllabus , Spring 2013 - syllabus )

POL 337: Globalizing Southeast Asia (Fall 2014 - syllabus, Spring 2013 - syllabus )

POL 236: Concepts of the Political in Southeast Asia: An Introduction (Fall 2014- syllabus, Fall 2012syllabus)

POL 100: Introduction to Race, Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of the Body (Fall 2014- syllabus, Fall 2013 - syllabus )