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Marlon M. Bailey

Marlon M. BaileyAssociate Professor of Gender Studies and American Studies
Affiliate Faculty in Theatre and Drama, Cultural Studies, Applied Health Science, & The Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society

Send Email | (812) 855-8255 | Memorial Hall West M16

Interview with Cyndi Canty on Michigan Public Radio about Ballroom Culture


Ph.D., African American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2005
M.A. in African American Studies University of California, Berkeley
M.FA in Theatre Performance from West Virginia University
B.A. (cum laude) in Theatre/Speech Education from Olivet College


G102 – Sexual Politics
G206 – Gay Histories, Queer Cultures
G215 – Sex & Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective
G250 – Race, Sexuality and Culture
G302 – Gender and Sexuality in Black Culture
G350 – Queer Theory
G402 – Race, Gender, and Class
G701 – The Cultural Politics of HIV/AIDS
G702 – Researching Gender Issues
G704 – Cultural Politics of Sexuality in the 20th Century


  • 2014 Finalist for the Lambda Literary Book Award in LGBT Studies
  • New Frontiers Exploratory Travel Fellowship, 2014
  • Co-winner of the Modern Language Association/GLQ Caucus's Compton-Noll Prize for best article in LGBTQ Studies
  • 2012 Joan Heller Bernard Fellowship, Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies (CLAGS).
  • 2012 - 2014 Visiting Professor Summer Training Program for Scientists Conducting Research to Reduce HIV/STI Health Disparities at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS) at the University of California-San Francisco.
  • 2011 Faculty Affiliate Summer Visiting Fellow, The Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (WCAAAS), Department of African & African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas, Austin.
  • 2010 The Black Gay Research Group (BGRG) Award for Distinguished Leadership
    and Scholarly Contributions.
  • 2005-07 Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in Gender and Women’s Studies
    University of California-Berkeley.


Professor Bailey's research interests include: African Diaspora studies, queer diasporas, race, gender, and sexuality, queer theory, Black queer studies, theatre/performance studies, ethnography, and HIV/AIDS (cultural politics, research, and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Black communities).

Professor Bailey’s book, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit, a performance ethnography of Ballroom culture, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2013. Butch Queens Up in Pumps was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Book Award in LGBT studies. Dr. Bailey has published essays in Feminist Studies, Souls, The Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, AIDS Patient Care & STDs, LGBT Health, and in several book collections. Marlon’s essay “Engendering Space: Ballroom Culture and the Spatial Practice of Possibility in Detroit” appears in the Themed Issue for which he is also the co-editor, entitled “Gender and Sexual Geographies of Blackness” in Gender, Place, and Culture: The Journal of Feminist Geography.

Bailey is also an accomplished actor, director, and performance artist. He has performed at professional theatres in San Francisco, Washington DC, Louisville, Minneapolis, and Detroit. He most recently performed a piece based on his new research entitled, “Exploring Black Queer Sex, Love, and Life in the Age of AIDS,” at the University of Texas, Austin.

Professor Bailey is also a Visiting Professor at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, in the Department of Medicine, at the University of California, San Francisco. Marlon holds a PhD in African American Studies with a designated emphasis in Gender, Women, and Sexuality from the University of California-Berkeley.

Dr. Bailey is also on the Board of Directors of Brothers United, a Black gay HIV/AIDS prevention agency in Indianapolis. He is also a member of the Black Sexual Economies Working Group:



Bailey, Marlon M. (2013) Butch Queens up in Pumps: Gender, Performance and Ballroom Culture in Detroit, University of Michigan Press. Finalist 2014, Lambda Literary Book Award in LGBT Studies

Read book review by Lambda Literary Review »


Bailey, Marlon M., (2014) “Engendering Space: Ballroom Culture and the Spatial Practice of Possibility in Detroit,” Gender, Place and Culture: The Journal of Feminist Geography, Vol. 21.4: 489-502.

Bailey, Marlon M. (Summer 2011) "Gender/Racial Realness: Theorizing the Gender System in Ballroom Culture," Feminist Studies, Volume 37, Number 2, 365-386.

Arnold, E., & Bailey, M. M. (2009). "Constructing home and family: How the Ballroom community supports African American GLBTQ youth in the face of HIV/AIDS." Special Issue on LGBTQ people of color. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, 21, 171-188;

Bailey, M. M. (2009). “Performance as Intravention: Ballroom Culture and the Politics of HIV/AIDS in Detroit.” Special Issue on Gender and Sexuality: Souls: a Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society,11:3, 253 — 274


Bailey, Marlon M. “Love and Money: Performing Black Queer Diasporic Desire in Cuban Hustle.” Blaktino Queer Performance: A Performance Anthology, eds. E. Patrick Johnson & Rámon Rivera Servera.  Durham: Duke University Press (forthcoming 2015).

Bailey, M. M. “Rethinking the African Diaspora and HIV/AIDS Prevention from the Perspective of Ballroom Culture.”Global Circuits of Blackness: Interrogating the African Diaspora.  Edited by Percy C. Hintzen, Jean Muteba Rahier & Felipe SmithChampaign: University of Illinois Press, 2010: 96-126;

Bailey, M. M. “He’s my Gay Mother: Ballroom Houses, Parenting, and Housework,” Queers in American Popular Culture Vol.1-3.  Edited by Jim Elledge.  Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 169-178.

Co-edited Refereed Journal Special Issues

Bailey, Marlon M. and Shabazz, Rashad, (Forthcoming 2012) Gender, Place and Culture: The Journal of Feminist Geography, Special Issue: Gender and Sexual Geographies of Blackness.

Public Health Research/ Reports and Publications

Bailey M.M. et al HIV (STDs, STIs, and Viral Hepatitis) Prevention and Needs Assessment for MSM (men who have sex with men) Indiana State Department of Health, Indianapolis, IN, February 2010 (pp. 1-348).

Other Publications

Bailey, M. M. (2008) “Ballroom Culture (House Culture),” LGBTQ America Today Encyclopedia.  Edited by John Hawley, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, Vol. 1: (2008) 92-93.