Transgender Studies Quarterly 11.2: The Trans Marxist Issue
Ira Terán - firstname.lastname@example.org
Emrys Travis - email@example.com
The Trans Marxist Issue
A spectre is haunting transgender studies - the spectre of Marxism. Recent years have seen the emergence of numerous trans scholars championing the centrality of Marxist analyses of social life to a thorough systemic understanding of trans subjectivity, oppression, and liberation. Although we can trace theoretical proposals and Marxism-adjacent trans militants through the 20th century, with groups such as Les Gazollines or S.T.A.R. and writers and activists including Mario Mieli and Leslie Feinberg, the transphobic prejudices of the international socialist movement, and the assimilationist tendencies of queer and trans interest groups, have historically hindered the emergence of a trans thought which utilises the conceptual tools of Marxism. We find ourselves in the midst of a rediscovery of these neglected traces, as trans writers and theorists such as Jules Joanne Gleeson, Nat Raha, Kay Gabriel, Harry Josephine Giles, Jordy Rosenberg, and Alyson Escalante revisit gay liberationist and lesbian feminist histories, taking up the common Marxist thread and weaving new interventions: elaborating the class dimension of cissexism; analysing the social reproduction of gender-dissident communities; and establishing a recognition of trans bodily autonomy as one cornerstone of a broader political struggle against capitalist alienation. The appearance of queer and trans studies journals with a renewed interest in historical materialism, such as Pinko and Invert, testifies to the increasing consolidation of the field of transgender Marxism (which gives its name, indeed, to a collective volume edited by Gleeson and Elle O'Rourke).
Beginning from the Marxist perspective that no aspect of capitalist life, including sex, sexuality and gender, exists in isolation from the mode of production, trans Marxism considers the ways in which capital intertwines with trans life - through the medicalised and carceralised regulation of bodies, differentiated experiences of exploitation in labour, the ubiquity and material power of the normative family structure - and how this can be collectively overcome. Trans Marxism builds on a rich collision of theoretical traditions, nurtured into being through multiplicitous currents of critical-insurrectional analyses and praxes: radical and materialist trans/feminisms, Black feminism and queer of color critique, police and prison abolitionisms, reproductive utopianism and xenofeminism, standpoint theory, queer anti/futurities, bio- and necropolitics, Social Reproduction Theory, socialist and Marxist feminisms and other ‘perversions’ of historical materialism, what Raha and Baars have come to call “hirstorical materialisms”. In this special issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly we hope to follow Feinberg’s legacy, using old keys to open new doors and new keys to open old doors - ‘transing’ Marxism in the process of repurposing Marxist frameworks to ground and revolutionise transgender studies and praxis. We invite contributions which weave together threads from this palimpsest of theoretical and political traditions, opening onto new ways of seeing, doing and embodying transness and developing trans saberes colectivos. We seek to broaden and deepen the field of trans Marxism, and we particularly welcome submissions from researchers in the Global South and beyond the Anglosphere, as well as from activist-theorists whose intellectual work is rooted in political praxis and those working outside of academic and institutional contexts. In seeking a wide range of contributors, we invite contributions in English, Spanish, Italian and French. We welcome submissions in a broad variety of formats, beyond the constraints of a typical ‘paper’. In doing this we hope to curate a collection which - following Marx’s infamous adage - fosters analyses within trans scholarship that contribute not only to interpreting the world, but to changing it.
Themes to be covered
Submissions, in the form of research articles (5,000-7,000 words), reviews (less than 5,000 words), and/or other formats, might address but are not limited to:
- Trans abolitionisms: dismantling prisons, police, family and gender
- Gender dissidence and revolutionary histories
- Gender outlaws in socialist movements
- ‘A la huelga compañere’ - trans struggles within and against work
- Trans communities and Social Reproduction Theory
- ‘Fare la trans’, fare la rivoluzione’: materialist accounts of sex work
- Towards a hirstorical materialism
- Imperialism and the ‘modern/colonial sex/gender system’
- Revolutionary global transfeminisms
- Communist worldmaking in trans literature and culture
- Communizing pleasure - bread, roses and hormones
- Peripheral Pinkos - decolonising transgender Marxism
- Transgender utopianism
- The political economy of gender normativity
- Trans-ing Marxisms, queering dialectics
Please send complete submissions by April 29, 2023. To submit a manuscript, please visit https://mc04.manuscriptcentral.com/dup-tsq. Please note that TSQ, like other Duke University Press Journals, has moved to ScholarOne, replacing the prior Editorial Manager platform. If this is your first time using ScholarOne, please register first, then proceed with submitting your manuscript. If you have any difficulties with the process, contact the journal at tsqjournal at gmail.com. All manuscripts must be double-spaced, including quotations and endnotes, and blinded throughout. You must also submit an abstract, keywords, and biographical note at the time of initial submission. Please visit the editorial office's website for a detailed style guide.
TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly is an academic journal edited by Susan Stryker, Francisco J. Galarte, micha cardenas, Jules Gill-Peterson, and Abraham B. Weil, and published by Duke University Press. TSQ aims to be the journal of record for the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies and to promote the widest possible range of perspectives on transgender phenomena broadly defined. One issue of TSQ each year is a non-themed open call, with the other three issues devoted to special themes; every issue also contains regularly recurring features such as reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces. To learn more about the journal and see calls for papers for other special issues, https://femresin.unm.edu/transgender-studies-quarterly/board.html.
About the guest editors
Ira Terán is a Spanish Marxist and transfeminist activist with a BA in English Studies from the University of Zaragoza and a masters degree in LGBTIQ Studies from the Complutense University of Madrid. She collaborates with the Queer Studies Seminar at the Faculty of Philosophy of the Complutense University of Madrid and with the Instituto de Estudios Culturales y Cambio Social (IECCS). She is an editor in the Spanish queer marxist journal Rojo del Arcoíris, has coordinated the trans anti-capitalist anthology Las degeneradas trans acaban con la familia (2022) and is currently co-coordinating Infames, a cultural reader on family abolition. Her research tackles transfemininity and queer utopianism from a materialist perspective.
Emrys Travis is a trans Marxist activist from the UK. They hold a BA in French and Italian Studies and an MPhil in Comparative Literatures and Cultures from the University of Cambridge. Their research confronts queer and trans experience and analysis with Marxist frameworks and concepts such as dialectics and totality-thinking, and their essay ‘El pueblo unito è meglio travestito’ inspired by the work of Mario Mieli has been published in the anthology Las degeneradas trans acaban con la familia. Alongside their research Emrys’s everyday work focuses on disability liberation, as secretary of their local branch of Disabled People Against Cuts, and as Disability and Accessibility Specialist for the Royal Society of Chemistry.