Although over the last two decades there has been a proliferation of gender studies, transgender has largely remained institutionalised as an ‘umbrella term’ that encapsulates all forms of gender understandings differing from what are thought to be gender norms. In both theoretical and medical literature, trans identity has been framed within a paradigm of awkwardness or discomfort, self-dislike or dysfunctional mental health. Marginal Bodies, Trans Utopias is a multidisciplinary book that draws primarily from Deleuze and post-structuralism in order to reformulate the concept of utopia and ground it in the materiality of the present. Through a radically new conceptualisation of the time and space of utopia, it analyses empirical findings from trans video diaries on the Internet belonging to transgender individuals. In doing so, this volume offers new insights into the everyday challenges faced by these subjectivities, with case studies focusing on: the legal/social impact of the UK’s Gender Recognition Act 2004, boundaries of public and private as evidenced within public toilets, and the narrative of the ‘wrong body’. Contextualising and applying Deleuzian concepts such as ‘difference’ and ‘marginal’ to the context of the research, Nirta helps the reader to understand trans as ‘unity’ rather than as a ‘mind-body mismatch’. Contributing to the reading and understanding of trans lived experience, this book shall be of interest to postgraduates and postdoctoral researchers interested in fields such as Transgender Studies, Critical Studies, Sociology of Gender and Philosophy of Time.
By Caterina Nirta, 2018