Transforming Citizenships by Isaac West

Introduction by

Review by Derek Ruez In Isaac West’s Transforming Citizenships, we are treated to a rich archive of trans activism and to a complex argument that raises important questions about how we conceptualize citizenship and engage with the law—both analytically and politically. The book operates, in many ways, through a reparative approach to existing forms of citizenship and engagements with the state, which is meant as a corrective to the relative hegemony of anti-normative critique in queer studies…

Review by Petra L. Doan As a transgender professor of Urban Planning, I was excited to receive this book because I do research on the topic of gender and space, and in particular on the way that transgender individuals perceive urban areas and interact with public officials. In addition, I was intrigued when the introduction to the book started with a description of the experiences of young trans women of color in Atlanta’s Midtown gayborhood where I have done some research. I hoped that this research might help me understand more completely the highly vulnerable position of trans women of color on the edges of the gay village in Atlanta…

Review by Amy Dobrowolsky In Transforming Citizenships, Isaac West writes about transgender political actions through different scales, progressing from the personal to local community to national scale. Unlike much research on trans folk, West foregrounds the agency of the trans actors and amplifies their own words and actions. In doing so, he takes on a role not only as a legal scholar but also as somewhat of a historian, which is refreshing considering how little the modern GLb(t) movement has regarded transgender organizing through the decades…

Response from Isaac West At the risk of oversimplifying the contributions Transforming Citizenships might make about claims to citizenships and their potential queerness, for me, the text advances a relatively straightforward argument: all politics are necessarily impure because people and the symbols they use to communicate their subjectivities are not reducible to the authorizing ideologies and hegemonic formations that make them intelligible as subjects, legal and otherwise…

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Transforming Citizenship: Transgender Articulations Of The Law Response by Isaac West

Contra queer critiques of citizenship and rights as always already objectionable modes of recognition, wherein these critiques rely ironically enough on a very unqueer resurrection of an essentialist conflation of stable subjectivities and fixed discourses, I suggest that we might understand claims to citizenship as contextually-bound performative reproductions of unstable identity categories.

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Isaac West

Transforming Citizenship: Transgender Articulations Of The Law Review by Amy Dobrowolsky

In Transforming Citizenships, Isaac West writes about transgender political actions through different scales, progressing from the personal to local community to national scale. Unlike much research on trans folk, West foregrounds the agency of the trans actors and amplifies their own words and actions. In doing so, he takes on a role not only as a legal scholar but also as somewhat of a historian, which is refreshing considering how little the modern GLb(t) movement has regarded transgender organizing through the decades.

By

Amy Dobrowolsky

Transforming Citizenship: Transgender Articulations Of The Law Review by Derek Ruez

Whether investigating activism seeking discrimination protections for gender identity or examining the coalitional politics of trans and disabilities activists coming together to challenge the spatial orderings of public restrooms, West is attentive to how engagements with the law may exceed both the coordinates of state power and the limits of anti-normative critique.

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Derek Ruez

Transforming Citizenship: Transgender Articulations Of The Law Review by Petra L. Doan

As a transgender professor of Urban Planning, I was excited to receive this book because I do research on the topic of gender and space, and in particular on the way that transgender individuals perceive urban areas and interact with public officials. In addition, I was intrigued when the introduction to the book started with a description of the experiences of young trans women of color in Atlanta’s Midtown gayborhood where I have done some research (Doan and Higgins, 2011; Doan, 2014).

By

Petra L. Doan