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CFP: The Victorian Review Special Issue: Trans Victorians (10/15/2017)

Trans Victorians
The Victorian Review Special Issue

The Victorian Review invites submissions for its special issue devoted to Trans Victorians. From the Chevalier/Chevalière D’Eon, Fanny and Stella, Dr. James Miranda Barry, and Vernon Lee, to the intersecting identities found in gender diverse side shows, including Madame Clofullia and Julia Pastrana, and the political cross-dressing of the Welsh Rebecca Riots, the Victorian era was populated by all manner of non-binary and gender expansive slippages. At the same time, Richard von Krafft-Ebing’s conflation of queer sexual orientation and trans gender identity and expression became part of the scientific foundation that informed cisnormative and heteronormative standards not only in medicine and the law, but the popular imagination. This special issue seeks to explore the overt and covert constructions of resistance to the constructions of more rigid gender binaries throughout Victorian Britain and abroad.

Recent critical work in Transgender/Trans Studies has begun to reconsider narratives of “transness” within structures of intersecting identities that focus on race, class, national identity, ability, colonialism and imperialism, and has begun to tease out the misreadings and differences between sexual orientation and gender identity and gender expression. Within post-colonial contexts, trans research has also begun to interrogate the British global misreadings of gender diversity among various groups in the colonies such as the hijras in India and tangata ira tane and takatapui (Maori) in New Zealand. How might we approach Victorian Trans Studies while recognizing that the term “trans” or “transgender” and the meanings we now grant to them did not exist in the Victorian period?

Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Trans Representation in Victorian Literature (all genres) including Supportive and/or Derisive Depictions
  • Gender Diversity in Colonial Contexts
  • British and European Authoritative Readings of Trans
  • British and European Embodiments of Trans
  • Trans and Sex Crimes
  • Trans and Medicine
  • Trans and Law
  • Trans and Religion
  • Trans Communities and Cultures
  • Cross-Dressing as Theatrical Performance
  • Cross-Dressing as Political Theatre
  • Cross-Dressing as Embracing Trans Identity
  • The Spectacle of Trans Embodiment
  • Trans Celebrity/Trans Legends
  • Essays must be between 5000 and 8000 words and formatted according to MLA (8th edition) guidelines. Please submit manuscripts by 15 October to Ardel Haefele-Thomas (guest editor) at athomas@ccsf.edu, or send mailed submissions to:

    Dr. Ardel Haefele-Thomas, Chair
    Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
    City College of San Francisco
    50 Phelan Avenue
    Box C11
    San Francisco, CA 94112

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