Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility

Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility

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Overview

Essays, conversations, and archival investigations explore the paradoxes, limitations, and social ramifications of trans representation within contemporary culture.

The increasingrepresentation oftrans identity throughout art andpopular culture in recent years has been nothing if not paradoxical. Trans visibility is touted as a sign of a liberal society, but it has coincided with a political moment marked both by heightenedviolence against trans people (especially trans women of color) and by the suppression of transrights under civil law. TrapDoor grapples with these contradictions.

Theessays, conversations, and dossiers gathered heredelve into themes as wide-ranging yet interconnectedas beauty, performativity,activism, and police brutality. Collectively, they attest to howtrans people are frequently offered “doors”—entrancesto visibility and recognition—that are actually “traps,” accommodating transbodies and communities only insofar as they cooperate with dominant norms. The volume speculates about a third term, perhaps uniquely suited for our time: the trapdoor, neither entrance nor exit, but a secret passageway leading elsewhere . Trap Door begins a conversation that extends through and beyond trans culture, showing how these issues haverelevance for anyone invested in the ethics of visual culture.

Contributors
Lexi Adsit, Sara Ahmed, Nicole Archer, Kai Lumumba Barrow, Johanna Burton, micha cárdenas, Mel Y. Chen, Grace Dunham, Treva Ellison, Sydney Freeland, Che Gossett, Reina Gossett, Stamatina Gregory, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, Robert Hamblin, Eva Hayward, Juliana Huxtable, Yve Laris Cohen, Abram J. Lewis, Heather Love, Park McArthur, CeCe McDonald, Toshio Meronek, Fred Moten, Tavia Nyong'o, Morgan M. Page, Roy Pérez, Dean Spade, Eric A. Stanley, Jeannine Tang, Wu Tsang, Jeanne Vaccaro, Chris E. Vargas, Geo Wyeth, Kalaniopua Young, Constantina Zavitsanos

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262036603
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Series: Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 429,649
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 9.60(h) x 1.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Reina Gossett is an artist, activist, and 2017 Activist in Residence at the Barnard Center for Research on Women. She directed The Personal Things (2016) and, with Sasha Wortzel, wrote, directed, and produced Happy Birthday, Marsha! (2017), a short film about legendary performer and activist Marsha P. Johnson.

Eric A. Stanley is Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside, editor of Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex , and, with Chris E. Vargas, director of the films Homotopia (2006) and Criminal Queers (2016).

Johanna Burton is Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement at the New Museum in New York and the series editor for the Critical Anthologies in Art and Culture.

Table of Contents

Series Preface Johanna Burton ix

Director's Foreword Lisa Phillips xi

Known Unknowns: An Introduction to Trap Door Reina Gossett Eric A. Stanley Johanna Burton xv

The Labor of Werqing It: The Performance and Protest Strategies of Sir Lady Java Treva Ellison 1

Cautious Living: Black Trans Women and the Politics of Documentation Miss Major Griffin-Gracy Cece McDonald Toshio Meronek 23

Existing in the World: Blackness at the Edge of Trans Visibility Che Gossett Juliana Huxtable 39

Trans History in a Moment of Danger: Organizing Within and Beyond "Visibility" in the 1970s Abram J. Lewis 57

Out of Obscurity: Trans Resistance, 1969-2016 Grace Dunham 91

Introducing the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art Chris E. Vargas 121

One from the Vaults: Gossip, Access, and Trans History-Telling Morgan M. Page 135

Everywhere Archives: Transgendering, Trans Asians, and the Internet Mel Y. Chen 147

Dark Shimmers: The Rhythm of Necropolitical Affect in Digital Media Micha Cárdenas 161

Blackness and the Trouble of Trans Visibility Che Gossett 183

Representation and Its Limits Lexi adsit Sydney Freeland Robert Hamblin Geo wyeth Moderator Tavia Nyong'o 191

The Last Extremists? Heather Love 201

An Affinity of Hammers Sara Ahmed 221

The Guild of the Brave Poor Things Park McArthur Constantina Zavitsanos 235

Spiderwomen Eva Hayward 255

Proximity: On the Work of Mark Aguhar Roy Pérez 281

Dynamic Static Nicole Archer 293

Models of Futurity Kai Lumumba Barrow Yve Laris Cohen Kalaniopua Young Moderator Dean Spade 321

All Terror, All Beauty Wu Tsang Fred Moten in conversation 339

Canonical Undoings: Notes on Trans Art and Archives Stamatina Gregory Jeanne Vaccaro 349

Contemporary Art and Critical Transgender Infrastructures Jeannine Tang 363

Publication History 393

Contributors 395

Board of Trustees 403

Index 405

What People are Saying About This

Kai M. Green

Trap Door is necessary for now, a collection of essays unafraid of the messy contradictions of capitalism and its deleterious effects on bodies, movement, and land. This collection anchors us in 'the paradox of this moment,' increased transgender visibility alongside proliferating violence and rejection of transgender people personally, socially, and politically. Transdisciplinary and trans-historical, this text not only allows us to think race, gender, sexuality, and the state, simultaneously; it also contends with the material, ideological, and epistemological ramifications of visibility. The book is not simply about knowing or seeing, or even feeling; it makes its readers conscious of how it is we have come to know, see, and feel. This collection is a model text, a must read that demonstrates the highest potential of Transgender Studies as a field.

From the Publisher

Trap Door is necessary for now, a collection of essays unafraid of the messy contradictions of capitalism and its deleterious effects on bodies, movement, and land. This collection anchors us in 'the paradox of this moment,' increased transgender visibility alongside proliferating violence and rejection of transgender people personally, socially, and politically. Transdisciplinary and trans-historical, this text not only allows us to think race, gender, sexuality, and the state, simultaneously; it also contends with the material, ideological, and epistemological ramifications of visibility. The book is not simply about knowing or seeing, or even feeling; it makes its readers conscious of how it is we have come to know, see, and feel. This collection is a model text, a must read that demonstrates the highest potential of Transgender Studies as a field.

Kai M. Green , Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Williams College

Far-reaching in scope, Trap Door opens onto new terrain for transgender scholarship and activism. This book is ambitious, intellectually exciting, and an urgent read for anyone interested in the politics of gender and representation.

C. Riley Snorton , Associate Professor of Black Sexuality Studies, Cornell University

Endorsement

Far-reaching in scope, Trap Door opens onto new terrain for transgender scholarship and activism. This book is ambitious, intellectually exciting, and an urgent read for anyone interested in the politics of gender and representation.

C. Riley Snorton, Associate Professor of Black Sexuality Studies, Cornell University

C. Riley Snorton

Far-reaching in scope, Trap Door opens onto new terrain for transgender scholarship and activism. This book is ambitious, intellectually exciting, and an urgent read for anyone interested in the politics of gender and representation.

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