New Books Network

Mia Fischer

Terrorizing Gender

Transgender Visibility and the Surveillance Practices of the U.S. Security State

University of Nebraska Press 2019

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network July 8, 2020 Isabel Machado

In Terrorizing Gender: Transgender Visibility and the Surveillance Practices of the U.S. Security State (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Mia Fischer traces how media...

In Terrorizing Gender: Transgender Visibility and the Surveillance Practices of the U.S. Security State (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), Mia Fischer traces how media and state actors collude in the violent disciplining of trans women, exposing the traps of visibility by illustrating that dominant representations of trans people as deceptive, deviant, and threatening are integral to justifying, normalizing, and reinforcing the state-sanctioned violence enacted against them.

Bringing together transgender, queer, critical race, legal, surveillance, and media studies, Fisher analyzes the cases of Chelsea Manning, CeCe McDonald, and Monica Jones and shows how the heightened visibility of transgender people has actually occasioned a conservative backlash characterized by the increased surveillance of trans people by the security state.

Terrorizing Gender concludes that the current moment of trans visibility constitutes a contingent cultural and national belonging, given the gendered and racialized violence that the state continues to enact against trans communities, particularly those of color.

Dr. Mia Fischer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver.  Her research and teaching focuses on LGBTQ media representations and the ongoing struggles of LGBTQ communities to access civil rights. Her work has been published in several academic journals, including Feminist Media Studies, Communication, Culture & Critique, Sexualities, and Communication & Sport. She also co-leads the Denver Pen Pal Collaborative (DPPC), a collaborative prison-pen-pal project.


Dr. Isabel Machado is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the Department of History of the University of Memphis.