Graduate Students.

Matthew Byrne
Matthew Byrne

Research areas: Gender and sexuality; war and militarism; imperialism; race; feminist studies; incarceration;

Biography/research interests: I’m a first-year here at UC Riverside in the sociology department. I received my B.S. from the University of Puget Sound, double majoring in Biology and Spanish Literature, Language, and Culture. My academic interests lie primarily in the field of gender and sexuality studies as it intersects with militarism, imperialism, and racism. Specifically, I’m interested in what activists and scholars call “pinkwashing”: the ways LGBT rights discourses are used to legitimize and expand apparatuses of State violence. As a consequence, figures that throughout the history of LGBT activism have been associated with violence —the soldier, the police officer, and the prison— are now being treated as a path towards LGBT liberation.

This work has evolved from a mix of (1) my personal lived experiences, (2) my undergraduate research experiences, and (3) community outreach I’ve done in Tacoma, WA and San Francisco, CA. I also want to credit inspirational undergraduate professors and peers for my interest in sociology.

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