Category Archives: announcement

Trans Genealogies: special issue articles now online!

trans symbol

Trans symbol by Chris Hubley

We’re delighted to announce that the articles written for the Sexualities special issue ‘Trans Genealogies’  have now been pre-published on OnlineFirst.

While the creation of this special issue has been a particularly long and difficult affair, it was really fantastic to work with such interesting and thought-provoking articles. We’re very excited that we can now finally share them with the world.

The articles will be formally collated and published in a single issue of Sexualities in a few months’ time. This will be available both online and in print format.

However, for now you can read the special issue articles here:


Introduction: The Emergence of ‘Trans’
Ruth Pearce, Deborah Lynn Steinberg and Igi Moon
[OnlineFirst] [open access]

Axiomatic: Constituting ‘transexuality’ and trans sexualities in medicine
JR Latham
[OnlineFirst]

Response and responsibility: Mainstream media and Lucy Meadows in a post-Leveson context
Kat Gupta
[OnlineFirst]

Rethinking queer failure: Trans youth embodiments of distress
Katrina Roen
[OnlineFirst]

‘Boying’ the boy and ‘girling’ the girl: From affective interpellation to trans-emotionality
Igi Moon
[OnlineFirst]

Genderqueer(ing): ‘On this side of the world against which it protests’
Zowie Davy
[OnlineFirst]

De/constructing DIY identities in a trans music scene
Ruth Pearce and Kirsty Lohman
[OnlineFirst] [open access]

Mak nyahs and the dismantling of dehumanisation: Framing empowerment strategies of Malaysian male-to-female transsexuals in the 2000s
Joseph N Goh and Thaatchaayini Kananatu
[OnlineFirst]


Here’s what we have to say about the special issue content in the editorial introduction:

We open with JR Latham’s ‘Axiomatic: Constituting ‘‘transexuality’’ and trans
sexualities in medicine’. Latham provides a genealogy of medical becoming, draw-
ing the reader’s attention to the manner by which trans identities may be consti-
tuted in and through a pathologising discourse that retains the influence of
pioneering mid-20th century clinician Harry Benjamin. Through his elucidation
of four axioms of transsexualism, Latham also unpacks the role of sexuality in
the becoming/emergence of trans in medical settings, and explores the manner by
which we might arrive into entirely contingent spaces of gender subjectivity and
enactment that we nevertheless take for granted.

A second example of the disciplinary impact of categorical thinking is explored
in Kat Gupta’s article, ‘Response and responsibility: Mainstream media and Lucy
Meadows in a post-Leveson context’. Like Latham, Gupta describes how trans
might ‘emerge’ and ‘become’ through the interventions of non-trans actors: in this context, journalists writing about trans teacher Lucy Meadows after she came out
in the workplace. Meadows’ dreadfully sad fate is only compounded by the con-
tinued construction of an unwanted male identity for her in British newspaper
reporting. However, as Gupta carefully demonstrates, this was not entirely the
outcome of intentional prejudice: rather, the misgendering of Meadows emerges
through the subtle contingencies of repetitious reproduction and metacommentary.

The four articles that follow critique binary thinking from a range of perspec-
tives, and question both cis-normative and trans-normative approaches to categor-
isation. These articles ask how we might think about bodies and psyches in a more
open and ethical manner, informed by ‘trans’ discourse but with wider conse-
quences for understandings of gender and sexuality. They look at how we might
move beyond the axioms described by Latham and the cultural forces analysed by
Gupta, inviting us to consider how we might re-think our approaches to bodies and
identities, avoiding binaries in inhabiting these ideas while building new solidarities
and allowing new possibilities to emerge.

In ‘Rethinking queer failure: Trans youth embodiments of distress’, Katrina
Roen explores how we could seek to break from normative thinking, including
the transnormativities that have emerged with ‘trans’. Noting that trans youth
are frequently associated with narratives of distress and self-harm, Roen draws
upon Jack Halberstam’s concept of queer failure and Sara Ahmed’s feminist cri-
tique of happiness in order to ‘unsettle’ these narratives and imagine new trans
possibilities ‘that do not involve straightening or alignment’.

Igi Moon also looks predominantly at the experiences and narratives of trans youth in ‘‘‘Boying’’ the boy and ‘‘girling’’ the girl: From affective interpellation to trans-emotionality’. In their article, Moon argues that emergent trans discourses offer an important alternative to binary notions of emotionality. Moon describes ‘trans-emotionality’ as a pluralistic approach to understanding gendered feeling that has been made possible through non-binary and genderqueer peoples’ responses to experiences of sexual liminality and dis-orientation.

In ‘Genderqueer(ing): ‘‘On this side of the world against which it protests’’’,
Zowie Davy questions the categorical lines that are frequently drawn between
‘transsexual’ and ‘genderqueer’ trans identities, desires and bodies. Revisiting a
series of interviews from the early 2000s, Davy employs the Deleuzian notion of
‘assemblage’ to question frequently taken-for-granted assumptions around trans
difference. She asks us to be reflexive in our understanding of the terminologies of
trans, transsexualism, transgenderism, genderqueer and non-binary; terminologies
that can be used to help us understand specificity but which can also be used to
close down analyses of connection and similarity. In this way we are effectively
encouraged to be attentive to the limitations of a ‘non-binary’/‘binary’ binary in
our accounts of trans possibility.

An optimistic account of such possibilities is provided by Ruth Pearce and Kirsty Lohman. In ‘De/constructing DIY identities in a trans music scene’, the authors draw upon a case study of an ‘underground’ scene in the UK to explore how trans discourses and everyday political approaches can feed into processes of cultural production. This offers an insight into what possibilities might emerge and flow from ‘trans’ as a pluralistic approach to gender and identification.

The issue closes with an account of Malaysian legal and media advocacy, ‘Mak
nyahs and the dismantling of dehumanisation: Framing empowerment strategies of
Malaysian male-to-female transsexuals in the 2000s’. In this article, Joseph N Goh
and Thaatchaayini Kananatu effectively revisit a range of themes from across the
special issue: processes of becoming and definition (including self-definition
as well as being defined by others) and the manner in which activism intersects with the media and law as well as the medical and political establishments. Like the UK case studies, this account is one of both specific importance and broader relevance. It is vital to acknowledge the particular context of the struggles for gender liberation by mak nyahs in Malaysia: a context shaped both by local law and religion, and the
complex post-colonial impact of Western discourses and political interventions.
The emergent language of mak nyah identity effectively stands in opposition not
only to the cis and binary gender norms of conservative politics and religious
fundamentalism, but also to a homogenised white, Western, Anglophone discourse
of ‘trans’. At the same time, Goh and Kananatu highlight how high the stakes are
and how difficult the battles for liberation can be for gender diverse peoples around
the world, in an important account of the dangers and possibilities that come with
‘trans’ visibility.

We hope readers find the special issue articles as fascinating, challenging, and useful as we did. Enjoy!

 

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Changes for ‘After Kinsey’

Unfortunately Tobias Raun and Surya Monro can no longer attend our final event, After Kinsey.

However, we’re pleased to announce that we will now be joined by Greygory Vass of Open Barbers. We will also be screening Jai Arun Ravine’s experimental short film Trans/Tom/Thai on the Thursday evening.

More information, including links to abstracts and speaker biographies, can be found here.

Alex Drummond will be filming the event for us, meaning that videos of some of the talks will be available at a future date.

Announcement: After Kinsey

Initial details of our fourth and final event are now available.

After Kinsey: (Re)Theorising Sexuality and Gender in a ‘Post-Closet’ Context will take place in the Radcliffe Conference Centre at the University of Warwick on Thursday 26th – Friday 27th June 2014.

This event will return to the themes of medical and therapeutic practice, popular culture and representation explored in previous seminars, whilst also reflecting specifically upon the consequences of contemporary ‘trans’ discourses for the theorising of gender and sexuality.

There will be seven presentations over the course of the event, from Zowie Davy, Mijke van der Drift, Kat Gupta, Sally Hines, Chryssy Hunter, Surya Monro and Tobias Raun. Further details of the topic areas will follow soon.

The event will be highly interactive, with several opportunities for extensive discussion of themes and issues raised by the speakers.

Registration will take place from 12pm on Thursday 26th June, with the event proper beginning at 1pm. Lunch, an evening meal and accommodation will be provided at Radcliffe. Breakfast will be provided on Friday 27th June.

Registration is now open.

A limited number of travel bursaries are available for participants who do not have institutional funds to attend. Let us know if you’d like to apply for one of these bursaries when you register.

After Kinsey

Announcement: Trans in Popular Representation

We’re delighted to announce details of our third seminar.

Trans in Popular Representation will take place in the Radcliffe Conference Centre at the University of Warwick on Thursday 28th November 2013.

There will be four presentations over the course of the day, from Del LaGrace Volcano, Kat Gupta, Lee Gale (TransBareAll) and Helen Belcher (Trans Media Watch). Further details of the topic areas will follow soon.

The event will be highly interactive, with several opportunities for extensive discussion of themes and issues raised by the speakers.

Registration is now open.

A limited number of travel bursaries are available for participants who do not have institutional funds to attend. Let us know if you’d like to apply for one of these bursaries when you register.

Trans in Popular Representation

Announcement: Trans as Everyday Culture

We’re pleased to announce that initial details of our second seminar are now available.

Trans As Everyday Culture will take place in the Ramphal Building at the University of Warwick on Thursday 23rd May 2013.

There will be four presentations over the course of the day, from Surya Monro, Natacha Kennedy, Kirsty Lohman and Ruth Pearce and Freiya Benson. Further details of the topic areas will follow soon.

The event will be highly interactive, with several opportunities for extensive discussion of themes and issues raised by the speakers.

Registration is now open.

Trans as Everyday Culture

We also have a variety of resources from the first seminar in the series – Trans Genealogiesavailable on this site.

Resources from ‘Trans Genealogies’

We now have a variety of resources from the first seminar in the series – Trans Genealogiesavailable on the site. These include videos, abstracts, speaker biographies, powerpoint slides and links. Summaries of the group discussions should also follow soon.

There is also Trans Genealogies playlist on YouTube, with a variety of videos from the day. Alex Drummond has kindly donated her editing skills, meaning that powerpoint slides and other media are incorporated into most of these videos.

James Morton

We’d like to thank all of the speakers for allowing us to use resources and/or video footage related to their work.

More information on our next event – Trans As Everyday Culturewill follow very soon! We’ll be posting all about speakers and our agenda for the day both on this website and on our new Facebook page.