Abstract: This essay considers the mutation of the temporality of HIV/AIDS in the United States from epidemic time to endemic time — the biopolitical distribution of life and death capacities across populations — as a critical noncoincidence of the present with itself. That the present moment is “out of joint” for the two generations separated by the interval between epidemic and endemic time is the motivation for asking a series of ethical, historical, and political questions about HIV/AIDS and queer theory through the lens of Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx and the New York City – based digital archive of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) Oral History Project. Hauntology, a nonlinear process concomitant with archiving, is the ground from which, in the case of ACT UP/New York, the reactive endurance of life under neoliberalism in the archived memory of AIDS activism is made available for an active invention of a new ethico-political project across the generations otherwise divided by the aporia between epidemic and endemic.
“The Technical Capacities of the Body: Assembling Race, Technology and Transgender.” Forthcoming in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, 1.3 (August 2014), special issue, “Decolonizing Transgender.”
Abstract: This is a materialist and speculative essay that travels with the ecological circulation of hormone molecules to pursue a theory of racialized and transgender embodiment as technical capacities of all bodies. It focuses on technology to think race and transgender together, from a common conceptual ground, rather than as separate strands of thought recombined through an intersectional or cyborg hybridity framework. Mobilizing, in turn, Jacques Derrida’s work on “originary technicity,” Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s writing on affect, and Gilbert Simondon’s philosophy of technicity, it accents the different forces that each of them offers to transgender studies, as well as feminist, queer, postcolonial and critical race theories of embodiment. Turning to a case of contemporary transgender biopolitics, the theoretical strands of the essay are examined through hormone molecules in an analysis of the entanglement of trans and race in the medicalized emergence of the transgender child through puberty suppression therapy and the history of endocrinology. The ecological travels of the hormone molecule, ultimately, insist on a different map of what counts as political than what is given by the juridical subject of right enforced by the European Enlightenment and its colonial regimes, and so the conclusion examines the potential of a technical politics of transgender and race.
“Neurofeminism: An Eco-Pharmacology of Childhood ADHD.” In Victoria Pitts-Taylor, ed., Mattering: Feminism, Science and Materialism (forthcoming, NYU Press).
Abstract: This essay considers childhood ADHD and its psychopharmacological treatment with amphetamine based drug compounds as a case of biopolitical performance enhancement. I foreground the child’s body in the extension of psychiatry from a disciplinary to biopolitical mode to accent the incorporation of the molecular into technologies of human development. The active involvement of both soma and psyche in the biopolitics of childhood ADHD demands a neurofeminism that does not privilege culture over nature, or specifically culture over the brain and nervous system, since Aderral and its cognates confusingly treat chemically a loosely defined set of behavioral disorders. Building on Elizabeth Wilson’s work in “Gut Feminism” with Deleuze and Guattari’s “pharmacoanalysis,” I develop a Spinozist eco-pharmacology of the biopolitics of childhood ADHD. Eco-pharmacology attends to what an anti-biological feminism and a homologous Cartesian psychiatry and behavioral psychology all remain unable to do in considering childhood ADHD: read attention as a variable capacity of body and mind, activated and animated affectively, while also differentially distributed by the forms of measure of financial capitalism.
“Techno-Gender Studies: A Review of Beatriz Preciado’s Testo Junkie.” Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory, Vol. 24, Issue 3 (forthcoming December 2014).
Work In Progress
“Sexting Girls: Technological Sovereignty and The Feminine-Digital”
(Abstract coming soon)
“The Value of the Future: The Child Entrepreneur and the Neoliberal Labor of Race.”
(Abstract coming soon)
“Leading and Leaning On Children: Queer Theory’s Pedagogy of Sexuality”
Abstract: Although Michel Foucault identifies “a pedagogization of children’s sex” as one of the “four great strategic unities” that, beginning in the eighteenth century in the West, came to structure the modern practice of power and production of knowledge through sexuality, queer theory and cultural studies have devoted conspicuously little reflection to their own complicity with this drive. As Foucault explains, “children were defined as ‘preliminary’ sexual beings, on this side of sex, yet within it, astride a dangerous dividing line,” such that a series of pedagogical adults would be called upon to direct their fragile growth. This essay argues that for queer theory, likewise, the child-figure has served as an anaclisis for the field, that upon which it leans in order to cover over the fiction of the sexual subject. Queer theory, in short, has itself pedagogized the child’s sex.
In order to understand how Foucault’s genealogy has come to be forgotten, this chapter returns to and carefully contextualizes two key essays on the child published in GLQ in the 1990s: Elspeth Probyn’s “Suspended Beginnings: Of Childhood and Nostalgia” (1995) and Angus Gordon’s “Turning Back: Adolescence, Narrative, and Queer Theory” (1999). While both aim to trace the function of the child to cultural production and queer theory, they nonetheless produce divergent avenues for subsequent work. Gordon diagnoses the retrospective demand of childhood as grounding in narratives of queer becoming by turning to Judith Butler’s writings on subjectification. Probyn, in contrast, following Gilles Deleuze, considers childhood as event, not origin. Both, however, situate the turn back to childhood as implanted in literary narrative, particularly the novel. By foregrounding how the turn to the child in a literary narrative serves as the pedagogical medium of the child’s sexuality for the field, this chapter provides a genealogy of how the child was domesticated in the first decade of queer theory through cultural means, from Foucault’s strategic node in a mechanics of power and knowledge to a forgotten grounding for a field then taking itself to be in its childhood.
“The Loneliness of the Generations: Luce Irigaray’s Ethics and Affective Economies of Attachment”