Dr. Trish Salah, Queen’s University
Lecture: Race as Kink: Reading Trans- Racial Fetishism
In what sense might we speak or think about race as libidinally charged? How do we understand racial identity as erotically invested and in what ways do we see object choice as racially inflected? To what extent are such libidinal economies of identity formation and object choice both ubiquitously alluded to and routinely disavowed? And what are the circumstances under which they present themselves as an occasion for scandal, crisis and conflict?
Drawing upon Freud’s discussion of the place of disavowal in the constitution of desire, this talk is an attempt to think about the persistence, and affective charge, with which analogies between transgender identities and forms of racial passing or cross-identification, increasingly named as “transracialism,” are made. In the process it will also attempt to put these concerns into relation with a few other questions. What is the legacy of phobic constructions of transsexuality as deviant and predatory masculinity in early lesbian and cultural feminist thinking for our present moment? Are there ways in which thinking through racialized desire and disavowal allow us to interpret, interfere with and revise our understandings of racialization, gendering, sexuation as such?
Master Class: Uses of the Perverse: perversity as power/knowledge
Reading against the grain Audre Lorde’s classic text, “The Uses of the Erotic,” as well as a number of contemporary writings, in this creative writing workshop we will experiment with the staging of trans racial/national/gendered identifications, desires and affects in the register of critical perversity. That is, we will write through and think about the poeisis and libidinal play animating multiple, intersecting identifications, desires, and dis/identifications in terms of writing’s perverse share in, and capacity to display, enjoy, and rework shame, complicity, aggression, uncertainty, masochism and other ambivalent pleasure/knowledges.