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.

  • Because he’s gay? Paul Cameron has proven that the average lifespan for gay men is 43 years.

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra

      One person proves that? I’m 58 and I have friends who are 68, 71, 73, 51, 54, and 59. There are more mature men that I know, but I’m unsure of their exact ages. What does that prove? Well, I guess it proves you are full of it.

      • It was sarcasm.

        • Mike_in_the_Tundra

          Thanks for telling me. I was afraid I owed someone 15 years.

  • Зоки Ћирилица Карађорђевић

    i’m happy he died

    • barmax71

      Stop being a self-hating homosexual and just come out of the closet already. Stop blaming others for the feelings you have been repressing for all these years. You only live once enjoy yourself. We are suppose to beleive your an athiest who beleives tha the church is the glue that keeps the family nucleus together. Your a walking contradiction. You are everything thatbisbwrong with society and the politicians that pander to them. JEM beleived in something, right or wrong. In 46 years he did more than you will ever do trolling websites and posting comments in hopes of someway validating your poor uneventful life. You may be happy he is dead but I bet he is happier knowing he is not you and that his life meant something to alot of people and lived it inspite of idiots like you.