David Tenorio

Assistant Professor


1309H Cathedral of Learning


A transdisciplinary scholar at the interstice of Latinx Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Feminist Theory, and Queer and Trans of Color Critique, Dr. David Tenorio (he/them) is a queer Latinx scholar, teacher, and activist examining hemispheric queer and trans cultures, particularly in Mexico, Cuba, and Latinx U.S.

Dr. Tenorio’s current book project, Queer Nightscapes: Affective Infrastructures and the Afterglow of Queer Mexicanidad, examines how queer and trans cultural practices of relajo (playfulness), dancing, cruising, and longing shape the material infrastructures of queer and trans worldmaking. Drawing from the fields of performance and media studies, critical infrastructure studies, new feminist materialisms, and trans of color critique, the book argues that queer modes of sensing disorientate neocapitalist commodification and neoliberal extraction. Queer Nightscapes considers how affective networks transform queer and trans modes of perception, affection, and consumption in racialized “gay-friendly” spaces in urban Mexico and the U.S. In doing so, this book project traces alternative modes of consumption and affective networks of joy and care amidst capitalist gentrification in the Americas. Dr. Tenorio is also working on two additional research projects, namely an edited volume in collaboration with queer AfroCuban writer Alberto Abreu on queer and trans genealogies in AfroCuban and Afrodiasporic studies, as well as a second book project on trans hemispheric migration into the U.S.

Dr. Tenorio has been involved in various digital humanities projects (www.sexualidadescampesinas.ucdavis.edu; www.queerutopias.org), and has served as member of the Editorial Board for the University of California-Davis’s Interdisciplinary Journal on Latin American Studies, Brújula (www.brujula.ucdavis.edu). He has been the recipient of various grants and awards, including the Bejel-Gibbs Graduate Award, the Humanities Program Fellowship, the Humanities Arts & Cultural Studies Dean’s Fellowship, the UC-CUBA Travel and Research Grant, the Mellon Public Scholar Fellowship, the Professor of the Future Program Fellowship, the UC-MEXUS Research Grant, and the University of Miami’s Cuban Heritage Collection Conference Award, the 2020-2020 Faculty Fellowship in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, among others. He has served as an Editorial Team Member for the Caribbean Studies Association, and as Co-Chair of the LASA Sexualities Section. Currently, he is member of the Executive Committee to the MLA Forum on Cuban and Cuban Diasporic Studies.


  • PhD, Latin American and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures, University of California, Davis
  • MA, Spanish Language and Literature, Queen's University
  • BA, Hispanic Studies and Psychology, York University

Selected Publications

2022                 “Teaching Disloyalty: Trans Activism and Digital Storytelling in the U.S. Feminist Classroom.” Journal of Cinema and Media Studies Teaching Dossier.

2021                 “Tecno-kitsch: Vogue, violencia y la noche en House of Apocalipstick.” Cuadernos del CILHA. No. 34.

2021                 “En busca del unicornio azul: erotismo, temporalidad y afecto en Cuba.” A Contracorriente: una revista de estudios latinoamericanos. Vol. 18 (3).

2021                 “Divas rancheras: El afecto de la jotería en la fiesta La Bota Loca y el cabaret José Alfredo en rosa.” Revista Conjunto. Casa de las Américas. No. 198

2019                 “Broken Records: Materiality, Temporality, and Queer Belonging in Mexican Drag Performance.” Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World. Vol. 9 (1).

2019                 “La pluma, el tacón y la tinta: travestismo en la literatura mexicana del siglo XXI”. Revista de Literatura Mexicana Contemporánea. No. 77.

2017                 “Ethics, Collaboration, and Knowledge Production: Digital Storytelling with Sexually Diverse Farmworkers in California.” Lateral: Journal of the Cultural Studies Association 6 (1) Spring.

Areas of Specialization

Feminist, LGBTQIA2S+ and Critical Sexuality Studies

Performance and New Media Studies

Latinx Studies

Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Mexican, Mexican American and Chicanx Studies

Cuban and Cuban Diasporic Studies

Global South Ontologies and Epistemologies

Affect and New Materialisms

Digital Storytelling, Digital Humanities

Community-Engaged Scholarship