Matthew Chin

Assistant Professor of Women Gender & Sexuality Studies

212 Levering Hall
PO Box 400172
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Office Hours: Spring 2024: On Research Leave for the 2023-24 academic year

Matthew Chin is anthropologist that carries out feminist and queer histories of race to engage contemporary problem spaces at the intersection of geographies and fields.

His first book Fractal Repair: Queer Histories of Modern Jamaica (Duke University Press, 2024) intervenes at the nexus of Caribbean Studies and Queer Studies. It is a recipient of Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award. Fractal Repair asks how gender and sexuality play into demands for reparations for colonization, genocide, enslavement and indentureship across the Caribbean and the Global South. It focuses on Jamaica because colonial epistemologies of race construct the island as exemplary of Caribbean homophobic exceptionalism. The book turns to fractals – or patterns that repeat but never exactly in the same way – to write histories that repair imperial violences around race, gender, and sexuality.

Part of Chin’s research involves examining the efforts of Jamaica’s Gay Freedom Movement (GFM), the first self-proclaimed gay activist organization in the Anglophone Caribbean that existed between 1977-1984. Building on the earlier work of the Caribbean International Resource Network, he has helped to construct a digital archive of GFM materials that is now available on the Digital Library of the Caribbean. He also coordinated an online event to launch the digitization of entire corpus of GFM’s newsletter the Jamaica Gaily News that included a panel of former GFM members. 

His second project, tentatively titled “Imperial Desires: Asian Caribbean Histories” works at the crossroads of Caribbean and Asian Studies with a focus on the Anglophone Caribbean, India & China. It considers how gender and sexuality play into contemporary racial anxieties around the increase in China’s political economic influence in the Caribbean. The project investigates how the various desires of Spanish, British and US empire operate through the languages of race, gender, and sex to constitute Asia and the Caribbean as discrete geographies and incorporate them into imperial designs. Imperial Desires work asks how feminist and queer histories elucidate dynamics of race and empire across regions of the Global South.

Chin’s work has been published in Public Culture, Interventions, Time & Society, Small Axe, Cultural Studies <-> Critical Methodologies, and Journal of Homosexuality. His research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and supported by fellowships in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University, the Center for Sexuality, Race, and Gender Justice at the University of Kent, and the Center for Black, Brown, and Queer Studies.

Select Publications:

Chin, M. (2024) Fractal Repair: Queer Histories of Modern Jamaica. Durham: Duke University Press.

Recipient of a Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award.

Chin, M. (2022). Queering Chinese Crossings in Late Twentieth Century Jamaica: Larry Chang and the Gay Freedom Movement. Interventions, 24 (8), 1309-1327. 

Chin, M. (2020). Antihomosexuality and Nationalist Critique in Late Colonial Jamaica: Revisiting the 1951 Police Enquiry. Small Axe, 24(3), 81-96. 

Chin, M. (2019). Tracing “gay liberation” through postindependence Jamaica. Public Culture, 31(2), 323-341.