Zairong Xiang is Postdoctoral Researcher of the DFG Research Training Group “Minor Cosmopolitanisms” at Potsdam University. His research intersects a wide range of disciplines, areas and paradigms, notably feminisms and queer theories, literature and art in their decolonized variants in Spanish, English, Chinese, French, and Nahuatl. He has a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (summa cum laude) co-tutelle from Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and Université de Perpignan Via Domitia with the Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Cultural Studies in Literary Interzones (2014); and a joint MA in Women and Gender Studies from University of Hull and Universidad de Granada with the Erasmus Mundus Master GEMMA (2009). His forthcoming book Queer Ancient Ways: A Decolonial Exploration (with Punctum Books) advocates a profound unlearning of colonial/modern categories as a pathway to the discovery of new forms and theories of queerness in the most ancient of sources, namely Babylonian Enuma Elish and Nahua creation myths.

The book constitutes a decolonial and transdisciplinary engagement with non-modern cosmologies and ways of thought which are in the process themselves revealed as theoretical sources of and for the queer imagination. His publications have appeared in scholarly, artistic and journalistic milieu on topics such as camp, feminist theology, the darkroom, (de)coloniality, translation, Nahuatl, photography, Pedro Almodóvar and the toilet. He is co-editing a special issue of GLQ – A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies on “The Ontology of the Couple” (with S. Pearl Brilmyer and Filippo Trentin); a special issue of the journal Siyi on “Translation as Concept” (with Delfina Cabrera).

The Ecological/Queer Penis:
A Decolonial Reading of I-Ching’s Body-of-Orifices

ICI Project 2014-16

Is there a different way of looking at the penis than immediately assuming its “presence” as opposed to the vagina’s purported “lack”? What if the penis is not phallic but hollow, a “lack” and a cavity? My project intends to theorize the hollow penis through the queer lens with a decolonial learning to learn from the non-phallo(go)centric and non-heteronormative understanding of the penis in Chinese Traditional Medicine via the I-Ching.

Weaving together queer theorizations of embodiment and temporalities, interreligious dialogues on ecology, ancient texts and their modern receptions, the project aims to address the radical implications of the (non-modern) body-of-orifices connected and exchanging with each other and the “outside world”. It will bring seemingly unrelated cultures, histories, disciplines, languages and cosmologies into conversation and perversion.

Selected Publications


  • “Below Either/or: Rereading Femininity and Monstrosity inside Enuma Elish“ in Feminist Theology (forthcoming January 2018)
  • “adam is not man”: Queer Body before Genesis 2:22 (and After) in Unsettling Science and Religion: Contributions and Questions from Queer Studies, eds. Lisa Stenmark and Whitney Bauman, Lanham: Lexington Press (forthcoming)
  • “Camp as a Critical Strategy in Gu Changwei’s And the Spring Comes [立春]” in The Dark Side of Camp – Queer Economy of Dust, Dirt and Patina, eds. Franziska Bergmann, Fabio Cleto, Ingrid Hotz-Davies and Georg Vogt, London: Routledge (2017)
  • “How to Unhear and Unsee: Reflections on Ren Hang’s Photography” in OpenDemocracy, May 5th (2017)
  • “The (De)Coloniality of Conceptual Inequivalence: Reinterpreting Ometeotl within Nahua Tlacuiloliztli” in Decolonial Readings of Latin American Literature and Culture, eds. Juan Ramos and Tara Daly, New York: Palgrave Macmillan (2016)
  • “Fragments in the Dark” in Darkrooms – Spaces of Invisibility, eds. Marietta Kesting and Sophia Kunze, Berlin: Neofelis Verlag (2016)
  • Book Review – “Jin Haritaworn’s Queer Lovers and Hateful Others: Regenerating Violent Times and Places”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space March 14th (2017)
  • Book Review – “Rey Chow’s Not like a Native Speaker: On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience”, Siyi Journal no.2 (2015).