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Trans without Borders: Resisting the Telos of Transgender Knowledge  / Howard Chiang.

Journal of the History of Sexuality, 32 (2023) 1 (jan), p. 56-65
bron: Journal of the History of Sexuality jaargang: 32 (2023) 1 (jan), p. 56-65
samenvatting: The interest in deuniversalizing the West is so common nowadays that it is hard to imagine postcolonial criticism without it. Even so, historians of gender and sexuality seem to have fallen behind. This is far from suggesting that the field has witnessed no interest in non-Western cultures. Quite the contrary. Over the last few decades, scholarship on the history of gender and sexuality in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East has grown in a steady and promising rate. Yet an implicit norm continues to govern our scholarly apparatus, trickling down to the everyday politics of knowledge production in the history of sexuality. Inasmuch as it would be acceptable for scholars dealing with specific cultures such as those of Britain, France, and the United States to evade regional specificity in titling their work, historians of the non-Western world are expected to designate our project with descriptors such as "in Mexico," "in South Asia," "Iranian," "Japanese," and so forth. Consider the following contrast. On the one hand, monographs such as Female Masculinity, Transgender History, Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity, and Female Husbands: A Trans History give no indication of their geographical scope even though they all focus on US and, to a lesser extent, European history. On the other hand, titles such as Gender Pluralism: Southeast Asia Since Early Modern Times, Professing Selves: Transsexuality and Same-Sex Desire in Contemporary Iran, and Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: The Hijra, c. 1850-1900 leave no confusion about the spatial parameters of their analysis. That this division remains sedimented in queer historiography is what spurs my plea to resist the telos of transgender knowledge. To that end, I propose a new keyword, transtopia, to refer to different scales of gender transgression that are not always discernible through the Western notion of transgender. With its word roots unpacked, transtopia binds the temporal designation of change in the trans- prefix to the spatial projection of difference implicated in the -topia suffix.

signatuur: ts.

Trans without Borders: Resisting the Telos of Transgender Knowledge
Howard Chiang.
Journal of the History of Sexuality


( DE:"gender transgressie" )

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