Preface to Transgender: Fractures of the Wrong Body Restricted; Files Only

Pullen, A. Rez (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/b5644s590?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract
Preface to Transgender: Fractures of the Wrong Body
In recent years, transgender people have garnered significant media attention
forcing the general public to consider the ways sex and gender are not always
congruent. Contemporary descriptions position transgenderism as a state in which one
occupies the "wrong body" yet there is little consensus as to what this trope actually
signifies or where it originates. This dissertation seeks to fill this scholarly void by
examining and complicating the "origins" of the wrong body discourse to uncover the
discursive conditions that led to its association with the category transgender. By way
of offering a genealogy of the wrong body trope and the category transgender, this
dissertation offers the following interventions: First, it proposes that scholarly
references to the "trope of the wrong body" are misleading because they presume that
the trope has a linear history. Rather, this dissertation proposes that it is more
appropriate to configure the wrong body as it appears in what many have called Karl
Ulrichs' 1862 writings on "homosexuality" as wrong body#1 and the wrong body as it
appears in transgender discourse as wrong body#2. Second, this dissertation argues
that contemporary notions of transgender which define transgender in relation to the
wrong body assume sex and gender to be inherently distinct and erase the discursive
conditions that contribute to sex and gender as differentiable concepts. In so doing, it
illustrates how the notion of a discordant sex/gender can be linked back to medical
notions of "gender identity," a term that arises amidst a surge in treatment protocols
of intersex bodies. Third, given that transgender as it is currently understood remains
tied to these pathologizing medical accounts which posit sex and gender identity as
distinct, this dissertation offers a novel way to rethink "transgender" apart from
medical discourse by returning to Michel Foucault's writings on transgression. In so
doing, this dissertation attempts to theorize transgender from a position that critiques
medical protocol and embraces Foucault's writings on transgression.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS INTRODUCTION 1 1. RUPTURING THE SEX/GENDER DISTINCTION: TRACES OF THE WRONG BODY DISCOURSE IN CONTEMPORARY CONCEPTIONS OF TRANSGENDER 16 2. THE "BIRTH" OF WRONG BODY AND THE DEMYSTIFICATION OF BINARY SEX 67 3. DISPLACING THE DISCOURSE OF INVERSION AND THE RISE OF GENDER 104

4. TRANS AS TRANSGRESSION: FOUCAULT, BATAILLE, THE LIMIT AND THE LAW 155

CONCLUSION 200 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 213

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