Thea Quiray Tagle

Thea Quiray Tagle

Lecturer, Full-Time

Ph.D., Ethnic Studies, University of California- San Diego
M.A., Ethnic Studies, University of California- San Diego
B.A., Political Science and Human Rights Studies, Barnard College, Columbia University

Office: UW1- 251
Email: tqtagle@uw.edu
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


American and Ethnic Studies; Gender and Sexuality Studies; 20th and 21st Century Art History; Cultural Studies and critical theory; Urban History.

I entered academia to produce scholarship that illuminates the histories, philosophies, and cultures of feminist, queer, and of color communities in the US and globally. My goal as an instructor is to share this knowledge with students, while also nurturing their critical thinking skills and their amplification of their own voices. In my courses, I heavily incorporate visual and experiential teaching strategies so that students can connect the relevance of heavy topics such as postwar trauma, domestic violence, and police brutality to their individual lives and work—to break down the barriers between theory and practice, between what’s out there and what’s right here. I aim to have students leave my classes with not only historical facts and critical theories, but with some practical tools for productively engaging with power at the interpersonal and institutional levels.

Recent Courses Taught

BIS 340 Approaches to Cultural Research
BIS 470 Arts, Politics, and Social Change


 My multidisciplinary research draws from the theories and methods of comparative ethnic studies; visual cultural and performance studies; gender and sexuality studies; and critical geography. My manuscript in progress, Salvaging Community: Socially Engaged Art, Urban Renewal, and the Remaking of San Francisco, investigates the intersections and conflicts between collaborative art and site-specific performance; urban planning and redevelopment schemes; and grassroots movements against gentrification and the prison industrial complex. This project expands the migration and displacement histories of Filipino/American, black, and other marginalized communities in the city, while challenging our notions of what constitutes the genre of “political art” and the concept of “political activism” itself.

As a scholar and writer, I try to engage broad audiences across difference to talk about the role that art plays in larger movements for social transformation. My arts writing has been featured online in Hyperallergic and at the Center for Art and Thought (CA+T), and I have organized and moderated artists in dialogue about social justice and cultural production for venues such as the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. In 2013-2014, I was a Scholar-in-Residence for Yerba Buena Center for the Art’s In Community Program, working alongside artist Eliza Barrios and community groups in San Francisco’s South of Market district to produce a collaborative video on the impact of gentrification on this Filipino/American neighborhood.  I have scholarly articles forthcoming in the journal Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures in the Americas and in an edited volume on Southeast Asian diasporas and transnational cultural studies.