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Matthew Chin

Assistant Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies



Historical Anthropology, Caribbean Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Afro-Asian relations, Geography, Cultural Studies 

Matthew Chin is an interdisciplinary scholar of race, history, gender, and sexuality trained in Anthropology and Social Work. His book project Queer Fractals: Making Histories of Repair in Modern Jamaica (under contract, Duke University Press) proposes queer fractals as a theory and method of history making. Queer fractals synthesizes Caribbean and North Atlantic genealogies of “queer” – to reference raced, gender, and sexual alterity – and weds it to the concept of fractals – a kind of geometry in which patterns repeat inexactly. Using queer fractals as an approach to history making entails surfacing raced, gender, and sexual difference as sites of rupture within patterns of the past that repeat into the present. This geometric orientation eschews modes of historical inquiry premised on arithmetic whose practices of enumeration shape historical thought in ways that erase, objectify, and violate subaltern subjects through technologies such as the slave ledger. By unsetting liberal progressive notions of temporality and arithmetic approaches to history making, queer fractals offers a way of thinking about the politics of reparations beyond discourses of “overcoming the past” and calculating economic compensation for survivors of violence. Queer Fractals uses this mode of history making to revisit key moments of Jamaica’s cultural political formation across colonial, post-independence, and neoliberal contexts.  

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. 

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 that is available on YouTube. (   

Selected Publications

Chin, M. (2022). Queering Chinese Crossings in Late Twentieth Century Jamaica: Larry Chang and the Gay Freedom Movement. Interventions, 1-19. 

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

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