[Faculty photo shows a smiling brown Asian man from the shoulders up with black hair partially covering his eyes and face. He is wearing a blue shirt and black earrings]
Note: When addressing me or referring to me in written correspondence or other contexts, I prefer my entire last name to be used including the name "Coráñez" [koˈɾaɲes]. So the entire name written would read: "Sony Coráñez Bolton" not "Sony Bolton." When omitting my first name, consider using "Professor Coráñez Bolton" or "Dr. Coráñez Bolton." Think of these names being tied together with a hyphen though I do not personally use that. I do indeed respond to "Dr." or "Professor Bolton." I will not be offended but it is not ideal as it is not my full last name. Thanks for your consideration! In case it's helpful: How to pronounce my name.
I am originally from Olongapo City, Philippines, the erstwhile location of the Subic Naval Base before US military bases were decommissioned in the early 1990s. My research interests were born from my own personal experience of US militarism. In the United States, I grew up in San Francisco and outside of Chicago.
Before coming to Amherst College, I was an Assistant Professor of Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Before that I held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship through the Creating Connections Consortium (C3) at Middlebury College in the Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies. As a graduate student at the University of Michigan, I did dissertation fieldwork in Quezon City and Manila with the support of the Fulbright exploring the intersection of queer literary culture, activism, and party politics. I was also a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison studying the Tagalog/Filipino language, a linguistic archive I hope to incorporate in future research.
Personally, I enjoy cooking, food-writing, and reading & writing poetry. I am a low-brow pop culture connoisseur. I have a profound fascination with K-Pop.
Ph.D., American Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
M.A., Foreign Languages and Literatures, Marquette University
B.A., Spanish, Marquette University
I am a critical ethnic studies scholar working at the intersection of settler colonial studies, queer, disability studies, and postcolonial theory. I am trained in the field of American studies but have always been interested in the late Spanish colonial period in the Philippines (1872-1896) in which mestizo Filipino intellectuals produced a rich archive of Spanish textual, artistic, and scholarly materials. As a comparative Americanist, I seek to understand how Hispanic Filipino culture protracted into the US colonial period in the Philippines before WWII (1898-1934). Within this context, in my first book project, Crip Colony: Mestizaje, US Imperialism, and the Queer Politics of Disability in the Philippines, I explore the ways that Filipino mestizos created racial hierarchies, drawing from US racial ideology, in which more native (i.e.— less mestizo) Filipinos were rendered “stupid,” “idiotic,” “crazy,” and in need of rehabilitation. Indeed, I claim that through disability discourses these Hispanized writers fabricated the idea of the Filipino indio.
Much like my research, my courses explore different genealogies of racial admixture and disability by drawing generously on Latin American cultural studies, Latinx studies, Chicana feminist theory, and Filipinx American studies. From a theoretical vantage, my courses engage contemporary debates in the fields of disability studies, settler colonial studies, and queer of color critique. I routinely ask students in my courses to make their own novel intellectual connections between fields of thought that, at first blush, are not seen to move together in their analysis of social problems or phenomena. Often, given the transnational dimensions of my own work, students will find that I problematize without completely discarding the geopolitical rubrics through which we have typically ordered the world, our knowledge about it, and our place in it, i.e.—"Asia," "Latin America," etc.
Crip Colony: Mestizaje, US Imperialism, and the Queer Politics of Disability in the Philippines (Duke University Press 2023)
Dos X: Migration, Disability, and Racial Uncanny in Latinx and Filipinx American Culture (under contract, The University of Texas Press)
Guest Editor, “Origins, Objects, and Orientations: Towards a Racial History of Disability,” Disability Studies Quarterly. Co-editors wtih Kelsey Henry and Anna LaQuawn Hinton
Journal Articles, Book Chapters, and Other Essays
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. “Manifest Disablement: Cripping the Frontier Thesis of American History,” Critical Ethnic Studies, 8.1 (Spring 2023)
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. “Filipino Negrito: Black Mestizaje and Transpacific Intimacies in Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters and José Rizal’s Filipinas dentro de cien años,” Migrant Frontiers: Race and Mobility in the Luso-Hispanic World, eds. Lamonte Aidoo and Daniel Silva, introduction by Walter Mignolo. Liverpool University Press (forthcoming)
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. "Decolonizing the Body in Multiethnic American Literature," Cambridge Companion to American Literature and the Body, ed. Travis Foster.
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. “A Tale of Two ’X’s: Queer Filipinx and Latinx Linguistic Intimacies.” In Filipinx American Studies: Reckoning, Reclamation, Transformation, edited by Rick Bonus and Antonio T. Tiongson, 284–90. New York, NY: Fordham University Press, 2022.
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. 2021. “Filipinx Critique at the Crossroads of Queer Diasporas and Settler Sexuality in Miguel Syjuco’s Ilustrado.” Journal of Asian American Studies 24 (2): 219–45. https://doi.org/10.1353/jaas.2021.0022 (Honorable mention for the Crompton-Noll Essay Prize for best article written in LGBTQ studies)
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. 2021. “Filipinx and Latinx Queer Critique: Houseboys and Housemaids in the US-Mexican Borderlands.” In Q & A: Voices from Queer Asian North America, edited by Martin F. Manalansan, Kale Bantigue Fajardo, and Alice Y. Hom, 103–11. Temple University Press.
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. “El español filipino-americano como ética de solidaridad,” Revista Filipina, Vol 7, No 1 (Summer 2020), 56-58.
Coráñez Bolton, Sony and Josen Díaz. “Filipinos.” Latino Studies. Oxford Bibliographies, ed. Ilan Stavans, 24 September 2020. doi: 10.1093/OBO/9780199913701-0149
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. “‘Somos los del español deficiente’: Crip Chicana/Filipina Pedagogies of Translation,” Aster(ix): A Journal of Literature, Art, and Criticism, Kitchen Table Translation, ed. Madhu Kaza (Summer 2017), 174-182.
Coráñez Bolton, Sony. “Cripping The Philippine Enlightenment: Ilustrado Travel Literature, Postcolonial Disability, and the ‘Normate Imperial Eye/I’”, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, Vol. 2, No. 2 (Fall 2016), pp. 138-162.
Awards and Honors
Faculty Research Fellow, Institute for Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst (2021-22)
New England Humanities Consortium Seed Grant Award, Collaborator for “Shade: Labor Diasporas, Tobacco, Mobility, and the Urban Nexus” (2020-21)
National Endowment for the Humanities, Global Histories of Disability Institute Fellow, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. (2018)
Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship, C3: Creating Connections Consortium, Middlebury College, Department of Luso-Hispanic Studies (2016-17)
Fulbright Hays Fellowship, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines (2012)
Foreign Language and Area Studies Graduate Fellowship, Southeast Asian Languages Summer Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison. (2011)
Invited Talks and Lectures
Northeast Pacific Islands Studies Scholars Workshop, “Nuestros salvajes filipinos: Settler Encounters with Negro-Indigeneidad in Mexico and the Philippines,” Wesleyan University (for May 2022)
“Intimate Crossings: Asian and Latinx Literatures and Futures,” Consortium of Studies on Race, Migration, and Sexuality, Dartmouth College (2022)
“The Mestizo Philippines,” Department of Spanish, Wellesley College (2021)
“Disruptions, Undoings, and Survival: Collapsing the Epistemic Boundaries Between Latinx and Latin American Studies,” Hemispheric Americas: Race, Power, and Space, University of Southern California (2021)