Mourning the Death of José Esteban Muñoz

MunozDuke University Press is deeply saddened to learn of the sudden and untimely death of José Esteban Muñoz. Muñoz, Professor of Performance Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, was a co-editor of Pop Out: Queer Warhol (1996) and Everynight Life (1997), books that helped build our list in queer theory and perfomance studies. Muñoz was also a contributor to the collections Holy Terrors (2003) and Gay Latino Studies (2011). His new book Feeling Brown, under contract with Duke University Press, was to be published in 2015. He also served on the editorial boards of our journals GLQ and Social Text and regularly published in our journals, including editing the Social Text special issue What's Queer About Queer Studies Now.

Muñoz has been an important part of the Duke University and Duke University Press community for over two decades. He received his doctorate from Duke under the guidance of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and over the years has been a trusted friend and advisor to our editors. Editorial Director Ken Wissoker met him early in his tenure here, and remembers,"When I arrived in Durham to be an editor at the Press, Jose was at the center of a vibrant group of grad students studying with Eve Sedgwick and Michael Moon, who became my colleagues and friends.  Brave, brilliant, charismatic and funny, Jose stood out from the first.  I’ve watched with love and admiration as he worked to reshape queer theory, queer of color critique, performance studies and American studies over the subsequent years."

Wissoker adds, "His death is shocking and half a lifetime too soon.  It’s more than the loss of a major scholar, but of someone who rethought and reconfigured fields, supported countless other scholars, and made so much work possible by influence and by example.  He cannot be replaced."

We send our sympathy to Muñoz's family, friends, and colleagues. His loss will be deeply felt, but his influence on the fields of performance studies, queer studies, and critical ethnic studies will continue for many years to come.

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