Assistant Professor

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Takeo Rivera (he/him) is a specialist in performance studies, ethnic studies, and queer theory in U.S. American cultural production. His first book, Model Minority Masochism: Performing the Cultural Politics of Asian American Masculinity (Oxford University Press, 2022) is focused on masochism and techno-orientalism in Asian American cultural production across multiple media, including theater, literature, graphic novels, historical archives, and video games. This book explores the relationship between power and pleasure within the traumas of racialization, examining affective attachments to nonhuman, machine-like stereotypical forms.

Dr. Rivera is also a playwright whose plays have been staged in New York City, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area. His creative work explores race, masculinity, and sexuality at length. His play Goliath has been recognized by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, the New Works of Merit Playwriting Contest, and the Planet Connections Theater Festivity. He has also worked with Poetic Theater Productions in New York City, CompanyONE Theater in Boston, and PlayGround San Francisco.

Dr. Rivera teaches courses in contemporary drama, modern drama, Asian American literature, queer theory, new media, racial capitalism, and the literature and performance of people of color in the United States. He is also a member of the core faculty of the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Program, a member of the BU Faculty Gender & Sexuality Studies Group, affiliate of the African American Studies Program and the American & New England Studies Program, and currently serves as the faculty mentor of the Asian Student Union. Dr. Rivera was also a 2019-2020 faculty fellow at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, and a recipient of the Outstanding Mentor Award for UROP at BU.


Teaching and Research Interests

  • Performance studies
  • Contemporary drama
  • Race in the United States
  • Queer Theory
  • Gender Studies
  • Masculinity
  • Asian American Studies
  • U.S. woman of color feminism
  • New media
  • Video game studies

Selected Publications

  • Model Minority Masochism: Performing the Cultural Politics of Asian American Masculinity. New York: Oxford University Press, 2022.
  • “Labor Out of Time: Forensic Performance in Kirsten Greenidge’s Greater Good and Fullbright’s Tacoma.” ASAP/Journal. Volume 6, Number 2, May 2021, pp. 327-352.
  • “Ordering a New World: Orientalist Biopower in World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Routledge Companion to Asian American Media. ed. Lori Lopez & Vincent Pham. New York: Routledge, 2017.
  • “Do Asians Dream of Electric Shrieks?: Techno-Orientalism and Erotohistoriographic Masochism in Eidos Montreal’s Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Amerasia Journal 40-2. 2014, pp. 67-86.
  • “You Have to Be What You’re Talking About: Youth Poets, Amateur Counter-Conduct, and Parrhesiastic Value in the Amateur Youth Poetry Slam.” Performance Research. 18-3. June 2013, pp. 112-121.
  • Co-authored with Korina Jocson: “Toward a Theory of Poemness: Cultural Politics and Transformative Pedagogies.” Handbook of Cultural Politics and Education. Zeus Leonardo, ed. Boston: Sense Publishers, July 2010.