Dr. Robert Diaz Jr.

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, OCAD University, Toronto, Canada


Robert Diaz Jr. is an Assistant Professor of English at OCADU. Before moving to OCADU, he was an Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. His research and teaching focus on the intersections of Asian North American, Filipino, Sexuality, and Postcolonial Studies. 

His first book project, Reparative Acts: Performing Queer Redress in Philippine Nationalisms, examines Filipino diasporic film, literature, performance, and new media in order to interrogate the relationship between histories of nationalism, imperialism, and redress. In the process, Diaz identifies six key figures that have been significant to the consolidation of Philippine nationalisms since the 1970's: the victimized Filipina during Japanese duress, the marginalized city-dweller during the Marcos regime, the transnational returnee or balikbayan, the overseas contract worker, the "beauty queen", and the international celebrity. Diaz argues that by queering these figures, artists, intellectuals, and people participating in the information flows of new media are then able to produce legible and complex critiques of often limited and institutionalized enactments of economic, political, and symbolic redress.

His second project, The Ruse of Visibility: Queer Filipinos and the Canadian Multicultural State, returns to questions of Philippine nationalism by examining how such nationalisms collide with the racializing narratives of the Canadian nation-state. This project is the first to examine queer Filipino/a embodiment amidst the demands of Canadian multiculturalism. It asks: How might the queer Filipino/a body—as a body riven with the inherited histories of colonialism, global labor migration, and non-Western forms of queer identification—perform visibilities that both recite and exceed multiculturalism's notions of presence? How might such a repertoire of queer Filipino/a visibilities foreground the tense proximities between the experiences of non-Native people of color and the experiences of Native communities in Canada, particularly when seen through a transnational and diasporic lens? These inherited histories emerge as queer Filipinos/as negotiate Canadian multiculturalism through diverse forms of art and performance. Diaz thus explores how queer and transgender identity, class disparity, immigration status, and racial difference affect Filipino/a integration into the Canadian global metropolis. 

Aside from working in the university, Robert is also committed to community engagement and social justice. He continues this commitment by working with LGBT and Filipino focused organizations such as ACAS, UKPC/FCYA, Magkaisa Center and Kapisanan, in the Greater Toronto Area.

Marissa Largo, MA, PhD Candidate

Ontario Institure for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada 


Marissa Largo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at OISE, University of Toronto. She holds degrees in Visual Arts and Education from York University and has a Master's degree in Art Education from Concordia University.  Marissa's doctoral project, Renaissance as Resistance: Contemporary Filipino/a Canadian Visual Arts aims to explore the ways in which contemporary Filipino/a Canadian visual arts act as assertions of marginalized subjectivities in Canada. In 2013, she was awarded the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).


As a Toronto-based artist and educator, her works have been presented in several group and solo exhibitions in Canada, such as Nuit Blanche (2011 and 2012), Maleta Stories (2013 and 2011), Public Realm (2010), Memory and Place (2009), and From the Pearl of the Orient to Uptown (2007). She also works with many progressive community and cultural groups dedicated to the integration and settlement of Filipinos in Canada.








Fritz Luther Pino, MA, MSW, PhD Candidate

Ontario Institure for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Canada 


Fritz Luther Pino is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute For Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. His dissertation project focuses on the lives of elderly Filipino gay men in Canada in order to examine later life marginalization and inequalities. He has a master of social work degree from the University of Toronto and a master of arts in psychology from the University of San Jose Recoletos, Philippines. He finished his bachelor of science in psychology as summa cum laude at Southwestern University, Philippines. Moved to Canada in 2007 from Cebu, Philippines where he was born and raised, he has a wide range of research and community experience in the field of social services, mental health, and gerontology. He is one of the lead researchers of the Filipino Elderly Well-being Project, a groundbreaking research that explores the lived conditions of elderly Filipinos in the Greater Toronto Area. While completing his dissertation, he serves as program coordinator for seniors at the Silayan Filipino Community Centre and as consultant at Thorncliffe Filipino-Canadian Seniors’ Club in Toronto.


Karlo Franko Azores, MSW Candidate

Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Canada 


Karlo Franko Azores is pursuing a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree with a specialization in Gerontology at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at University of Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Health Studies Specialized Honours degree (cum laude) and Certificate in Health Services Financial Management from the School of Health Policy and Management at York University. His interests include community-based health and social care interventions for older adults, LGBTQ issues in older adulthood, and experiences of ethnoracial and ethnocultural older adults in Canada. He is currently training in social work intervention research and development on play intervention for clients and families living with dementia.