cover of book

edited by Eva S. Hayward and Jami Weinstein
Duke University Press
Paper: 978-1-4780-0891-0

If the critical import of this issue of TSQ, “Tranimalities,” can be narrowed to a single focal point, it is that the human/nonhuman distinction is inextricably tied to questions of gender and sexual difference. Issue editors Eva Hayward and Jami Weinstein, along with the authors whose work they have selected for inclusion, collectively argue that to be human has meant taking a position in relation to sexual difference and becoming gendered (the English& it, for example, has no personhood, as opposed to he and& she), while to be forcibly ungendered or to become transgendered renders one's humanness precarious. It can result in one's status being moved toward the not-quite-human, the inhuman, the “mere” animal, or even toward death, toward a purportedly inanimate “gross materiality.” The editors' exquisite introduction, the feature articles, and much of the content in the journal's recurring sections (including Harlan Weaver's contribution to the New Media section, Paige Johnson's film analysis and Anthony Wagner's artist statement in Arts and Culture, and M. Dale Booth's essay on recent scholarship in the Book Review section) all explore the non/human in relation to transgender at an unprecedented level of detail and theoretical sophistication. They plumb philosophical depths that bring transgender studies into conversation with some of the most fundamental questions we can ask about ourselves and the cosmos we experience, and in doing so they help realize the potential originally envisioned for this journal and for the field.

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