Undergraduate Graduate People News & Events
Jennifer Tyburczy

Jennifer Tyburczy


Areas of Specialization

Cultural-critical rhetoric, performance studies, transnational American studies, feminist theory, gender and sexuality studies, queer theory, critical race studies, popular culture, ethnography, cultural politics, political economy, visual art and culture, museum studies

Current Research Projects

My first book Sex Museums: The Politics and Performance of Display is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press. Sex Museums combines ethnographic field methods such as participant observation and interviews with archival research and visual art, performance, and film analysis to argue that the museum context from its inception to the present day is a pivotal but overlooked site in the construction of modern sexual subjectivity and the categories of "normalcy" and "perversity."

In 2012-2013, I spent the academic year in Mexico City on a Fulbright-García Robles Grant with an institutional affiliation at El Colegio de México (COLMEX), in particular their Interdisciplinary Program in Women's Studies. During this time, I conducted research for my second book project, Sex After NAFTA: Crossing Borders and the Economy of Intimacy. This project traces the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) on everyday practices of intimacy and argues that "free trade" dramatically changed how intimacy is constructed and experienced in the United States and Mexico in the twenty-first century, a phenomenon I call "the economy of intimacy." The book manuscript will demonstrate how the mechanisms of "free trade" are delicately interwoven with national and international notions of what sex and sexuality mean.

Current Creative Projects

In addition to my work as a teacher and a writer, I am also a performance artist and a curator. I have performed in Austin, Chicago, and Houston, and while working as the Director of Programming at the Leather Archives and Museum in Chicago, I curated several exhibitions that explored the intersection of race, transgender identity, disability, and sexuality. In 2015, my exhibition Irreverent: A Celebration of Censorship will open at the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York. Irreverent will put many of the theories from my book Sex Museums on their feet through the performative display of artworks that have been censored in the "post" culture war years. Through the display of previously censored artworks situated within self-designed installations and built environments, each gallery will recreate the stakes for exhibiting these works by using ephemera to restage the social, cultural, and political components that led to each controversy. While queer and dissident sex is central to the exhibition and to the book Sex Museums, both will also show how sex has consistently been used as a political tool to silence all kinds of minority voices on issues that range from immigration to religion, to race, gender, and disability, to globalization, capitalism, and neoliberalism.

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Book Articles
Exhibition and Museum Reviews

Recent Fellowships and Awards

Courses Taught

Analysis and Adaptation of Literature to Performance; Exhibiting Sexualities; Gender and Performance; Honor's Introduction to Rhetoric; Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Performance and Popular Culture; Popular Rhetorics of Sex and Sexuality; Seminar and Practicum (queer and feminist research methodologies); Sexuality and Visual Culture; Women and the Arts.

Invited Colloquia

Interdisciplinary Affiliations