Emma Heaney, "Feminism Against Cisness" (Duke UP, 2024)

Summary

The contributors to Feminism Against Cisness (Duke UP, 2024) showcase the future of feminist historical, theoretical, and political thought freed from the conceptual strictures of cisness: the fallacy that assigned sex determines sexed experience. The essays demonstrate that this fallacy hinges on the enforcement of white and bourgeois standards of gender comportment that naturalize brutalizing race and class hierarchies. It is, therefore, no accident that the social processes making cisness compulsory are also implicated in anti-Blackness, misogyny, Indigenous erasure, xenophobia, and bourgeois antipathy for working-class life. Working from trans historical archives and materialist trans feminist theories, this volume demonstrates the violent work that cis ideology has done and thinks toward a future for feminism beyond this ideology's counterrevolutionary pull.

Contributors. Cameron Awkward-Rich, Marquis Bey, Kay Gabriel, Jules Gill-Peterson, Emma Heaney, Margaux L. Kristjansson, Greta LaFleur, Grace Lavery, Durba Mitra, Beans Velocci, Joanna Wuest.

Emma Heaney is a scholar of comparative literature, feminist studies, and trans studies. Her first book, The New Woman: Literary Modernism, Queer Theory, and the Trans Feminine Allegory (Northwestern UP 2017) traces the medicalization of trans femininity and the uptake of the resulting diagnostic in works of literature and theory. Her edited collection, Feminism Against Cisness (Duke UP 2024), gathers essays by trans studies scholars that demonstrate the potential of feminist critique freed of the ideology that assigned sex determines sexed experience. She is currently writing a book about gestation as an experiential resource for turning away from cisness and capitalism [This Watery Place, Pluto Press, 2025] and an analysis of the ghostly yet reverent depiction of trans femininity in mid century gay literature (forthcoming in The Yale Review).

Clayton Jarrard is an incoming graduate student at NYU's XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement program and a Research Project Coordinator at the University of Kansas Center for Research. Clayton is also a host for the Un/Livable Cultures podcast.

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Clayton Jarrard

Clayton Jarrard is an incoming graduate student at NYU's XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement program and a Research Project Coordinator at the University of Kansas Center for Research. Clayton is also a host for the Un/Livable Cultures podcast.

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