Becoming Other, Becoming More

Ontological Continuity in Fictional Feminist Transsexual Autobiography

in Screen Bodies
Jasper Lauderdale Doctoral Candidate, New York University, USA

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This article examines how continuity is dealt with in fictional feminist texts that depict gender or sexuate transition, via surgical intervention or transmogrification, in terms of naming and pronoun use, self-image, and perceived image. The texts here examined—literary and filmic works by cis artists Angela Carter, Sally Potter, and Octavia Butler, principally—all pastiche the familiar narratological mode of transsexual autobiography, aping the convention of internal focalization, though each elides the wrong-body formula that frequently accompanies such narratives to justify access to medical treatment and care. I situate each alongside scholarly engagements with transsexual embodiment, surgery, and lived experience, with particular focus on flesh as that which both contains and determines gendered and sexed readings, to ground these fictive accounts of becoming.

Contributor Notes

Jasper Lauderdale is a doctoral candidate in cinema studies at New York University, where he studies race, gender, sexuality, and time in radical speculative art, with special emphasis on the supernatural body, the surreal, and the liberatory transformation of given materials. His work for such artists as Lydie Diakhaté, Manthia Diawara, Amie Siegel, and David Hammons has appeared at the 56th Venice Biennale, the 23rd New York African Film Festival at Lincoln Center, Dia:Chelsea, and Dak'art 2018, and he has taught courses on film history, feminist media, cinematic bodies, and vampire culture at Brooklyn College, Hunter College, and NYU.

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Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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