Mijke van der Drift

Trans* as the pursuit of Eudaimonia


In this paper I will explore the notion that Trans* can be read as an ethical notion, relating to establishing eudaimonia, or a Good Life. To read Trans* as such, will give some consequences for theory formation, and possibilities for politics.

I will establish through a reading of Aristotle that gender can be read as building a certain disposition. Through this move Trans* becomes de-exceptionalised, and normative and non-normative genders can be read to partake in similar projects. The formation of gendered dispositions becomes a matter of agency.

The aim of such a reading is to create space for non-normative genders as necessary, while recuperating agency. This enables the possibility to create overlapping networks of non-normative solidarity based on practices, instead of pursuing rights based on identity.


Mijke van der Drift is currently pursuing a PhD. at Goldsmiths, University of London. Previously Mijke studied Philosophy (BA & research MA) at the University of Amsterdam, and Ethics and Science and Technology Studies at Maastricht University. Before engaging with theory Mijke studied physical theatre at Arts College Utrecht, and obtained a BA at the School for New Dance Development, Amsterdam School of the Arts. Mijke is programmer for TranScreen Amsterdam, and has made various performances after a long departure from the arts. Currently the video ‘Escaping into Common Places &c &c’ is just starting on a tour.


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