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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CFP: Sexualities Special Issue ‘Trans Genealogies: Gender, Sexuality and the Emergence of Trans’

Guest editors: L Moon, R Pearce and DL Steinberg

Forthcoming 2016

Deadline for submission of papers: November 30 2015

We would like to invite submissions for a forthcoming Special Issue of Sexualities on the topic of ‘Trans-Genealogies: Gender, Sexuality and the Emergence of Trans’. Below please find email contact information for the Guest Editors, a synopsis of the Special Issue and advice for authors. The Guest Editors will be very happy to discuss your ideas for papers in advance of submission.

Contact:
D.L.Steinberg@warwick.ac.uk
L.Moon@warwick.ac.uk
R.Pearce@warwick.ac.uk

Please submit your papers by November 30 2015 for consideration for the Special Issue


Special Issue Synopsis

This special issue of Sexualities focuses on the emergence of Trans as a growing vernacular of identity, intersubjectivity and feeling on the intersecting terrains of gender and sexuality. The issue draws its impetus from the recent ESRC seminar series: ‘The Emergence of Trans: Retheorising Gender and Sexuality’ (2012-14).

Authors are encouraged to address at least one of the following three questions:

  • How does the emergence of Trans challenge, develop or extend understandings of gender and sexuality, reconfigure everyday lives or herald new normativites?
  • How do Trans lives and discourses articulate with issues of rights, citizenship and (complex and intersectional modes of) discrimination, health and welfare, education and popular commonsense?
  • What challenges do Trans identities present for clinical and therapeutic practice, for gender and sexuality theory and for everyday articulations of identity and intersubjective and communal connection?

Thematic Focus / Advice for Authors

The Special Issue will pursue and be organised around four key thematic axes:

1. Trans Genealogies: shifting paradigms and practice in clinical and therapeutic contexts
Emergent themes include: narratives of ‘authenticity’ that guide clinical protocols, psychotherapeutic approaches and patient self-identifications; ‘pathways of care’ surrounding interventions and management of Trans bodies; professional discourses (educational, diagnostic) and clinical and practice protocols vis a vis patient or client experience; and ‘alternative’ therapeutic discourses and the Trans self-help context.

2. Trans in everday culture: social networks, social movements, everyday lives and everyday repertoires
The focus here concerns the emergence of Trans social networks, social movements and citizenship struggles, including the impact of digital technology and web based resources on gender and sexuality activism and new identifications. Key themes include: communal, popular and ‘everyday’ repertoires of body, identity, feeling and experience; the impact of digital technology and social networking, and Transformations in everyday vernaculars of gender and sexuality, everyday lives and ‘on the ground’ experiences.

3. Trans in Popular representation
A third thematic focus concerns the spectacular, social semiotic, aesthetic and visual repertoires of Trans. Trans has emerged as a cross-media phenomenon involving traditional and new media from film and television to web-based media to photography to performance art, giving rise to emergent popular and commonsense dimensions of Trans.

4. Trans Epistemologies: retheorising gender and sexuality
The fourth thematic focus concerns the epistemic, intersubjective and affective implications of Trans culture, discourse and practice. Key questions in this context include a) to what degree and in what terms does the emergence of Trans challenge conceptual norms across different cultural sites from professional to popular to everyday practice;and b) what challenges do the epistemic underpinnings of Trans herald for sexuality and gender studies? Does Trans, for example, represent a ‘postcloset’ epistemology? Does it represent an emergent meta-narrative and, in its wake, a Transformed ‘post Kinsey’ understanding of gender, sexuality, bodies and experience?

New resources, and what comes next

With our final event now over, we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to an exciting, informative and inspiring series of events, be it through speaking, attending, administrative support or contributing skills and ideas.

This will not be the end of the project. We have plans for a journal issue and a book in the pipeline, and will also continue to update this website with resources generated at and/or relevant to the seminar series.

To begin with, we’re delighted to share a playlist of content from our third event, Trans In Popular Representation.

This playlist will eventually be updated with an additional video featuring Lee Gale’s talk.

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