All _Perspectives

12/18/2020 _Perspective

Troubling the Border

Global Poetic Trans* Dislocations

1_Introduction This essay was originally conceptualized as a part of a larger PhD project on transpoetics. Therein, I conceived of transpoetics as describing poetry and other forms of creative practice committed to the exploration and critique of the strictures through which bodies, personhood, and animacy [1] (or proximity to the animate) are recognized and organized. In this sense, transpoetics is fundamentally a mode of becoming, and an investment in the processual, not the teleological. Understanding ‘trans*' as a prefix is fundamental to the unfolding of transpoetics in my doctoral research, as is the function of the asterisk attached to ‘trans.’ This conceptualization of ‘trans*’ as a prefix is indebted to the scholarship of Susan Stryker, Paisley Currah, Lisa Jean Moore, Eva Hayward, Jami Weinstein, and Abraham Weil. [2] ‘Trans*’ poetry and transpoetics include the poetry and poetics of certain forms of trans* gender expression. The asterisk attached to ‘trans,’ however, performs an important dual task which expands the meaningfulness of ‘trans.’ To those for whom ‘trans’ has some traction in expressing a felt sense of gendered being or becoming, the asterisk indicates the widest possible reaches of this term, not only transgender, transsexual, trans woman, or trans man etc. This sense of trans*, of course, cannot presume to describe non-Western forms of gender variance. But the asterisk attached to trans also foregrounds ‘trans’ as a prefix with imminent and profuse applications extending beyond expressions of gender. It is with this latter understanding of trans* as a prefix of becomings that I consider how ‘transborder’ might be conversant with ‘transgender.’ This essay can be understood as a suffixial materialization of the prehensions of trans*. [3] In particular, through discussion of the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a poetic and geo-locative project by artist collective Electronic Disturbance Theatre 2.0, and a related poetry series by trans* poet and artist Micha Cárdenas (who is also a member of EDT 2.0) I consider the ‘transbordering’ potential that arises at the meeting point of source code and poetry. This takes the forms both of executable code and what Roopika Risam has called “unexecutable code poetry.” [4] These executable and unexecutable poetic projects function as forms that imagine the concepts of a transborder or a “SoftBody” as possible alternatives to the hard lines of national borders and gender binaries. My discussion first addresses the locative media performance device, Transborder Immigrant Tool, which mobilizes code as poetry and poetry…

09/03/2020 _Perspective

Queer Love within, through and beyond Creative Queer African Collaboration

Representations of queer people on the African continent have been dominated by public health discourses on HIV [1] and heteronationalist discourses about queer people as perverse and ‘unAfrican.’ [2] In many countries, these are supported by colonial-era domestic laws that prohibit same-sex sexuality. As a result, queer people, affiliations, and identities are largely construed through the framework of sexual pathology or sexual deviance, [3] and queer people frequently experience rejection, violence, and social exclusion. […]

09/03/2020 _Perspective

“I Am Trying to Improve the Care of Women, That Is My Goal.”

In Conversation about Love and Abortion with Giessen-based GP Kristina Hänel

In its “Berlin Declaration for the Protection of Unborn Life”, the Bundesverband Lebensrecht demanded “love and responsibility instead of abortions.” [1] The confederation is the umbrella organization for several ‘Pro-Life’ groups in Germany which organize every year the ‘March for Life’ in Berlin. But what has love got to do with this? […]

09/03/2020 _Perspective

Of Animal Love and Abuse

Exploring Ambivalent Human-Animal Relationships in Tiger King (2020) during the COVID-19 Pandemic

On April 11, 2020, Girls star Lena Dunham tweeted the following: “Text from my mother: By the way we stopped watching tiger [sic] came because there are no nice people except the Tigers. #TigerKing”. [1] Amidst the vast array of tweets, posts, memes, or other social media content referring to what now counts as one of the most popular Netflix productions to date, Dunham’s post sparked my interest in the show. […]