Bodies in Process: Trans Politics & Possibilities

Thursday, Mar 08, 2018 | 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

691 Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley
Location is ADA accessible

Bodies in Process: Trans Politics & Possibilities


The Urgent Problem of a Travesti Nosotrx
Giancarlo Cornejo, Department of Rhetoric

This paper offers a reading of the Peruvian LGBTQ theater play Desde Afuera (From the Outside). Contrary to usual modes of understanding travestis as a minoritarian group, this paper suggests the possibility of envisioning travestismo as a new form of constructing peruvianness. It focuses on the possibilities of the collective pronoun nosotrxs and its power to disrupt the living legacy of racism, homophobia, and transphobia of the Peruvian nation state. This paper asks: Can the x of nosotrxs be read as a scar? Further, is there anything for travestismo in thinking of the scar in genealogical terms? In the production of a travesti nosotrxs can the scars be distributed less asymmetrically and can the production of racial and gendered scars be less definitive and tortuous? Can scars be transformed into sites of love and reparation? And finally, can nosotrxs’ respect for opacity become the seed for social and political transformations?

The Transgender Child Must Be Defended
Omi Salas-SantaCruz,  School of Education

The past decade, the US has witnessed new forms of public interest on child-bodies. From an increased awareness of incarcerated child migrants and refugees, the extrajudicial murder of Black and Brown children to the explosion of visibility of gender variant and transgender children. In a moment when the conceptualization of the child, as a normative potentiality, is being challenged by queer and race scholars, I ask how the figuration of the transgender child body, its practices, materialities, and knowledge, reconfigures understandings of gender, race, disability, and sexuality. Mainly, I take upon the notion of the mutability of the child figure as a body-in-process and move along with and away from Kathryn Stockton (2009) “queer child,” as a matter of fiction and fictional lives. Rather, I look at how the materiality of the trans child body opens up political and social-life-worlds across various temporalities. I do this by discussing the centrality of biopolitics and necropolitics to the transgender children population particularly concerning school district policies on sex and gender that give rise to the “transgender bathroom wars.”


Giancarlo Cornejo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Rhetoric with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender and Sexuality at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation, Travesti Memory and Politics: Toward a Peruvian Transgender Imaginary, understands travestismo (a local, not fully translatable trans* identity) as a critical tool to read the unstable and contested production of gender, sexuality, and race in contemporary Peru. His essays have appeared in journals such as TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Estudos Feministas, and Íconos.

Omi Salas-SantaCruz is a doctoral student in the Social and Cultural Studies program at the Graduate School of Education with a Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at UC Berkeley. Their research interests include transgender studies, queer and trans* Latinx literacies, non-white sexual cultures in educational settings, and queer of color theorization in education research. Omi serves as the graduate student representative of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQI Communities at Cal and works as a Graduate Research Associate at Berkeley Law. Omi is a University of California Berkeley Chancellor’s and Tillery Foundation Fellow and holds a M.A. degree in Sociology from Columbia University and a B.A. from UC Berkeley in the same field.

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