Listen: Jack Halberstam on "Trans* Bodies and Power in the Age of Transgenderism"

During the fall semester, Jack Halberstam delivered the lecture "Trans* Bodies and Power in the Age of Transgenderism." In it, Halberstam investigates desires, orientations, and experiences of the gendered body that are nestled within the elliptical modes of address that stretch between what can be said, what can be thought, and what feels possible if not probable. It is not a survey of transpeople, trans experience, or trans politics so much as an account of the spaces between that have opened up as old classification systems give way to new and as gender norms, bodily practices, and desires are reconfigured within new matrices of meaning, politics, violence, and fleshly becomings. The lecture looks back to Halberstam's work on gender variance in Female Masculinity and thinks through the shifting configurations of gender and desire that is both named, narrated, predicted, and critiqued. 

Halberstam is a visiting professor of gender studies and English at Columbia University. He is the author of five books including: Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (Duke University Press, 1995), Female Masculinity (Duke, 1998), In A Queer Time and Place (NYU Press, 2005), The Queer Art of Failure (Duke, 2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (Beacon Press, 2012) and has written articles that have appeared in numerous journals, magazines, and collections. Additionally, Halberstam has co-edited a number of anthologies including Posthuman Bodies with Ira Livingston (Indiana University Press, 1995) and a special issue of Social Text with Jose Munoz and David Eng titled “What’s Queer About Queer Studies Now?” Halberstam is currently working on several projects including a book titled WILD THING on queer anarchy, performance and protest culture, the visual representation of anarchy and the intersections between animality, the human, and the environment. This talk is taken from another new Halberstam short book, Trans*, forthcoming from University of California Press in 2017.