American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-27-2017


In the early 2000’s, “bullying” became the new center of LGBTQ justice organizing. As part of this development a bullied subject emerged. This bullied person on whose behalf liberation was being sought took various forms from the bullied school shooter, to the cyberbullying victim, to the bullied suicidal queer. As the subtitle of my dissertation suggests, I focus on “managing violence through the discourse of bullying.” This marks a two part process: how the discourse of bullying manages to do violence and how it manages populations biopolitically. This study tackles one of the core paradoxes that inform the formation of these bullied subjects—that is, the terms by which experiences of harassment, assault, and oppression are objected to are often routed through structures of racialized gendered and sexual violence. The grammars that govern the intelligibility of the bullied subject’s victimization, I argue rest on normative logics of differential valuation where racialized gender and sexuality work to afford some bullied subjects recognition of their victimization through rendering queer of color existence disposable, girls worse bullies than those that sexually assault them, justice conditioned on state-sanctioned racial and heteronormative violence, and the very possibility of queer futurity requiring our collective complicity in queer disposability and elimination in the present. By offering three case studies—the bullied school shooter, the cyberbullying victim, and the bullied suicidal queer—this study reveals what happens when forms of violence are offered recognition as “bullying” and toward what end.




bullying, queer, comparative racialization, feminist, gay panic

Document Type


Degree Name

American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Alexander S. Lubin

Second Committee Member

Alyosha Goldstein

Third Committee Member

Ann V. Murphy

Fourth Committee Member

Chandan Reddy