José Esteban Muñoz, Acclaimed Queer Theorist, Dead at 46

jose esteban munoz

José Esteban Muñoz, author of a number of influential queer theory text and professor at NYU, passed away today.

His death was announced by the University of Minnesota Press, and confirmed by his department to Hyper Allergic. Speaking to Hyper Allergic, Professor Barbara Browning noted:

José did so many beautiful things, he was so good at seeing beauty. He loved his work and his students more than anyone I’ve ever known. Today we begin the task of making work and nurturing work that will honor him for the rest of our lives. We should do it with all the pleasure and utopianism that he taught us.

Muñoz is the author of “Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics,” a highly influential work that “looks at how those outside the racial and sexual mainstream negotiate majority culture—not by aligning themselves with or against exclusionary works but rather by transforming these works for their own cultural purposes. Muñoz calls this process ‘disidentification,’ and through a study of its workings, he develops a new perspective on minority performance, survival, and activism.”

According to Wikipedia, Muñoz was born in Havana, Cuba in 1967. He received his doctorate from Duke under the tutelage of Eve Kosofsky Segwick.

He was slated to host the “Living Labor: Marxism and Performance Studies” conference at NYU in 2014.

The cause of death has not been specified.