Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies

Research Events and Seminars

Dr Zowie Davy - Erotic images: towards new conceptualizations of trans sexualities

14 December 2011 | 4.00pm | Seminar

Beech Grove House

Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies Visiting Speaker Seminar Series

Title: Erotic images: towards new conceptualizations of trans sexualities, Dr Zowie Davy, School of Health and Social Sciences, University of Lincoln


The sexualisation of transgender is a thorny issue due to the negative undertones within sexological texts. After many years of being on the one hand, silenced about sexuality or on the other hyper-sexualized, for fear of being pigeon-holed as unworthy recipients of medical interventions by the medical teams providing healthcare, transsexual and transgender people have started to explore and produce their “sexual bodies” and represent them in novel ways through prose, poetry and pornographic film. The move to demonstrate a wider ‘spectra of desire’ (Stryker, 2006) and experiences of trans sexuality was announced to be politically important as a way of shifting stereotypical associations surrounding transgender and sexuality generally. Pornography and erotica are two sites that offer personalized accounts of trans sexualities that often speak back to their medicalized perspectives. I argue that in the words of Kate Bornstein (1994: 163), over a decade ago, that these productions offer “irreverence for the established order” and incorporate the “often dizzying use of paradox.” Using empirical and textual data, I will illustrate that gender transitions (sporadic, permanent or undecided) are not solely about gender, as a core characteristic, and suggest that sexuality is part of trans subjectivity too. I will draw on the work of Bataille and Deleuze and Guattari to illustrate that trans sexualities should perhaps be theorized through trans bodily aesthetic affects that simultaneously engenders a ‘becoming language.’ This conceptualization helps us move to more helpful descriptive analyses than identitarian (hetero/homo/bi) and sexological conceptualizations can offer us; and understand trans sexualities as endless and rhizomatic.

Location Details

Beech Grove House

The venue is directly opposite the student union building

Please click here for a campus map.  Beech Grove house is marked in the scrolling menu on the right.  The number on the key is 33

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