Debates in Transgender, Queer, and Feminist Theory
Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Elliot, Patricia. Debates in transgender, queer, and feminist theory : contested sites. --(Queer interventions) 1. Gay and lesbian studies. 2. Transgenderism. 3. Feminist theory. 4. Queer theory. I. Title II. Series 306.7'6-dc22 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Elliot, Patricia,
... 55-Debates in transgender, queer, and feminist theory : contested sites / by Patricia Elliot. p. cm. --(Queer interventions) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-4094-0393-7 (hbk) 1. Transgenderism. 2. Feminist theory. 3. Gender identity. 4. Queer theory. I. Title. HQ77.9.E57 2010 306.76'8--dc22 2010024834 ISBN 9781409403937 (hbk) ISBN 9781315576008 (ebk) Contents Series Editor's Preface Trans-positions, Fugitive Poetics and Educated Hope vii Preface and Acknowledgements xv About the Author xvii introduction exploring rifts in transgender, Queer, and Feminist theories 1 1 Feminist embattlement on the Field of trans 17 2 revaluing gender Diversity beyond the ts/tg hierarchy 33 3 Desire and the "(un)becoming other": the Question of intelligibility 61 4 risking the unfamiliar: Psychic complexity in theories of transsexual embodiment 85 5 still not in our genes: theorizing complex bodies conclusion Fielding contested Desires Bibliography Index This page has been left blank intentionally Series Editor's Preface Trans-positions, Fugitive Poetics and Educated Hope Patricia elliot's Debates in Transgender, Queer, and Feminist Theory: Contested Sites is a wonderful, and courageous example of what samuel chambers calls fugitive theory, of what rosi braidotti names transpositioning, and of what bryan Reynolds terms transversal poetics. Transgender studies may be "arguably the newest of academic fields" 1 but its short history has been marked, as elliot notes throughout her book, by rifts, battles, border wars, fissures, disputes, deep divides, schisms, divisive hierarchies, political minefields, dissensions, tensions, conceptual and political impasses, and fraught relationships. Transgender studies has proved, then, to be what Elliot calls a "contested site". Rather than getting involved in further skirmishes or trying to put an end, once and for all, to the diverse disagreements, elliot explores the wounds of transgender theory, not in order to heal them, but to, as she says, foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of the "complexity, heterogeneity, and political diversity that exists". calling for more nuanced analyses of trans debates elliot engages in fugitive theorizing. 2 Judith butler, in the context of a discussion of her performativity, has said that "the point is not to enumerate the political consequences of a theory [...], but rather to show how a theory [...] is already at work in the exercise of political discourse (theory can work in implicit and fugitive ways)". 3 how theory works in an implicitly fugitive manner is by travelling between and across, traversing "fields, genres, or disciplines" (Chambers, 23). Elliot works in precisely this fashion by critically engaging debates and theorizing across multiple terrains, in and between transgender/queer/feminist studies as well as psychoanalytic theory with the express hope that her work will assist in the difficult process of transforming the current battlefield into a forum for open debate and dialogue.