Thursday, April 30, 2020
This will be a virtual lecture. Details are being worked out and will be announced closer to the date
Title: The Trans Body Is "A Precious Resource": new designs for sexual difference
Abstract: There has been a long-articulated fantasy among transgender people undergoing surgery of swapping their unwanted body parts with other trans folks who wish they had them. While the dream of trading sexed body parts was once a medical impossibility, emerging technologies of organ transplantation and tissue engineering suggest that “the transgender swap” may not only be the best way to realize transgender transitions, but it might also facilitate the gender consolidation of other bodies, as well. In this talk I show how contemporary efforts to materialize sexual difference through the exchange of sexed body parts is reframing surgical discourse about trans patients. No longer just recipients of surgical care, in the developing fields of uterus and penis transplant, and tissue scaffold engineering, trans bodies are emerging as uniquely valuable sources of exchangeable bodily materials.