My research and writing explore how visual texts might generate or sustain possibilities for queer and transgender becoming in the social world. I am primarily interested in how—despite being presented with a culture that largely denies our diverse experiences—queer and trans people continue to find and create ways of imagining otherwise. My work, which theorizes the lived relationship between LGBTQIA people and visual culture, is a sustained attempt to understand the politics of queer/trans aesthetics and narrativity over the past century. I am deeply interested in how visual texts are created and circulated within culture and how they might offer new ways of feeling or living for queer and trans subjects. My recent writing pursues these questions in visual texts as varied as Transamerica, Rebel Without a Cause, Tea and Sympathy, Brokeback Mountain, Boys Don’t Cry, Transparent, Looking, Angels in America, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Orphan Black, The Matrix Quadrilogy, Bound, The Watermelon Woman, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Madame Butterfly, Silence of the Lambs, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending, Under the Skin, Dallas Buyers Club, Stonewall, The Danish Girl, and Sense8.
As an interdisciplinarian, my scholarship is situated at the intersection of multiple fields— transgender studies, queer studies, cultural studies, film and television studies, critical race theory, disability studies, and phenomenology. As an academician trained in American Studies, I maintain a strong interest in how narrativity and aesthetics deliver both overt and covert forms of political information. The stories we tell as a culture, and how we choose to tell them, reveal a great deal about our political imagination. My work is committed to investigating the democratic potential of our popular narratives and the manner in which they aestheticize our shared political life. How do we create the world we are taught to expect, how can we unlearn those expectations, and what other possibilities might then emerge?
Below is a sampling of my recent published work. Talks and works under review/forthcoming are listed on my CV and at my academia.edu page. My upcoming book, Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Sensing Transgender, has its own page on this site:
“Household Remedies: New Narratives of Queer Containment in the Television Movie.” Challenging Lesbian Norms: Intersex, Transgender, Intersectional, and Queer Perspectives. Ed. Angela Pattatucci-Aragon. London: Routledge P, 2013. 107-123.