I’ve had a lot of writing published recently. Please don’t think for a moment that this is evidence that my manic logorrhea has advanced into the Covid-times, for it has not. On the contrary, I spend my days prone and snacking, tossing bon mots into the ether, twisting my arm, face, and angle lamp to produce the more viable selfie, and lighting candles with no goal in mind. But writing, as we know (well, not as we know, since I suppose this is an exception) tends to take a long time to grind through the gears of publication. So, the pre-Covid boom months have yielded their fruit, and it is possible for me to share it all with you.
Please enjoy, “Blood Pink,” in Social Text Online, co-authored with my brilliant friend and colleague Kristin Grogan of Rutgers University. “Blood Pink” is a response to the Gorsuch-authored Supreme Court decision in Bostock vs. Clayton County, in which Kristin and I attempt to work through the contradictions of a case that massively advances the public rights of trans and queer people, but does so on the basis of a person’s being “out at work.” We’re both work abolitionists, and we’re attempting to imagine a radically abolitionist response to Bostock, turning to the poetry of Danez Smith, and the hacky movie trope of the over-made-up corpse.
Please also enjoy my review of Jen Manion’s book Female Husbands, which was published last week in The Guardian. Manion’s work, I argue, exemplifies some of the methodological challenges of trans historiography, while also forcefully and intuitively confronting the oddly influential claim that there is no trans history, and that trans people sprang into being some time in the 1990s. (I initially included a more direct challenge to that argument as it was developed in a lecture of Selina Todd’s, but of course, free speech being what it is, that part was edited out. With my permission, I should add.)
Please enjoy “Trans Realism, Psychoanalytic Practice, and the Rhetoric of Technique,” published recently in Critical Inquiry. This essay on George Eliot and Sigmund Freud argues that the two shared a sense of their work as immanently efficacious, and also (perhaps surprisingly) saw that notion of efficacy as intimately implicated within transsexual desire. This is the first of the three essays that I’ve started calling THE PRINCESS PEACH TRILOGY, on trans feminism, psychoanalysis, emergence, and ontology that is followed by “The King’s Two Anuses: Trans Feminism and Free Speech,” published earlier this year in Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, and to be concluded with an essay entitled “Egg Theory’s Early Style,” in TSQ. You can try to decipher the princess peach if you want.
Please enjoy “I’m So Into Avoiding You,” published today in The New Inquiry, an interview with my friend Charlie Markbreiter, whose TinyLetter is definitely worth subscribing too. We discuss avoidance, queer theory, political aesthetics, the relationship between trans feminism and psychoanalysis, and it ends with me heading out to roast a chicken.
Lastly: I’m sure many of you are aware that Danny and I have been, for the last two weeks, publicly agitating for greater accountability and safeguarding in the youth ministries at Menlo Church, beginning with the sacking of Danny’s biological father, the Senior Pastor John Ortberg. These past months have been grueling and distressing for both of us, but we are grateful for the opportunities to be useful that we have been given. If you are interested in learning more about the situation at Menlo, you can read this Twitter thread, or else review the timeline of events that we’ve reported here.
I’ll have more writing going up before too long, I think–not least the long-awaited egg essay. But for the moment, that’s enough, right?
Love and solidarity,