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Essay Humanities Natural Sciences Nonfiction Other Social Sciences

Introduction: Tranimalities in the Age of Trans* Life

By Eva Hayward and Jami Weinstein, 2015

This introduction puts into conversation two seemingly divergent analytics: transgender studies and animal studies. It asks: How does the prefixial nature of trans–across, into, and through: a prepositional force–further transfigure the “animal turn”? If the animal turn has recharged inquiry into difference and ethics, what happens to these magnetic pulls when they are transformed, transacted, or transduced by trans studies? Taking as a central logic that transgender subjects have never been fully human–consider how the indeterminate pronoun “it” has been used to name transgenders–the introduction posits how a trans heuristic allows us to better understand the limits of “the human” as a biopolitical tool for privileging a few so as to de-, in-, nonhumanize the many. Trans exposes what is at stake in these prefixial maneuvers, what is materialized and dematerialized, what is made livable and unlivable, killable and un-killable.

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