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TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly Volume 5 (4): Trans*historicities

By Leah DeVun and Zeb Tortorici, 2018

Questions of time and chronology have risen to the forefront of scholarship 1 in queer and trans studies in recent years. Carolyn Dinshaw has advocated for anachronistic “touches” across time, Roderick Ferguson has envisioned queer “palimpsests with residues of earlier discourses and histories,” and C. Riley Snorton has highlighted intersections of blackness and trans as a condition of temporal possibility–as “movement with no clear origin and no point of arrival” (Dinshaw 1999; Dinshaw et al. 2007: 180; Snorton 2017: 2). Beyond this, a wave of new con- ferences and publications has explored “trans temporalities,” further demonstrating how methods of accounting for and thinking through time have become increas- ingly relevant to scholarship on trans subjects (e.g., Lau 2016; Fisher, Phillips, and Katri 2017).2 In an influential essay, Kadji Amin has welcomed this “critical focus on the temporal underpinnings of transgender as a historical category [which] . . . may open the way toward a more transformative politics of justice” (2014: 219). It is to this crux of temporality and temporal crossing–always linked to overlapping modes of history, historiography, and historicity–that our issue of TSQ speaks. “Trans*historicities” joins surging interest in gender and sexuality as they relate to both patterns of time and the writing of history, advancing critical trans politics while simultaneously articulating and confounding our investments in reading, engaging, and cocreating historical pasts.

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