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Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex
Pathologized, terrorized, and confined, trans/gender non-conforming and queer folks have always struggled against the enormity of the prison industrial complex. The first collection of its kind, Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith bring together current and former prisoners, activists, and academics to offer new ways for understanding how race, gender, ability, and sexuality are lived under the crushing weight of captivity. Through a politic of gender self-determination, this collection argues that trans/queer liberation and prison abolition must be grown together. From rioting against police violence and critiquing hate crimes legislation to prisoners demanding access to HIV medications, and far beyond, Captive Gender is a challenge for us all to join the struggle.
What People Are Saying
"Captive Genders is an exciting assemblage of writings—analyses, manifestos, stories, interviews—that traverse the complicated entanglements of surveillance, policing, imprisonment, and the production of gender normativity. Focusing discerningly on the encounter of transpersons with the apparatuses that constitute the prison industrial complex, the contributors to this volume create new frameworks and new vocabularies that surely will have a transformative impact on the theories and practices of twenty-first century abolition."
—Angela Y. Davis, professor emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz
"The purpose of prison abolition is to discover and promote the countless ways freedom and difference are mutually dependent. The contributors to Captive Genders brilliantly shatter the assumption that the antidote to danger is human sacrifice. In other words, for these thinkers: where life is precious life is precious."
—Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California
"Captive Genders is at once a scathing and necessary analysis of the prison industrial complex and a history of queer resistance to state tyranny. By analyzing the root causes of anti-queer and anti-trans violence, this book exposes the brutality of state control over queer/trans bodies inside and outside prison walls, and proposes an analytical framework for undoing not just the prison system, but its mechanisms of surveillance, dehumanization and containment. By queering a prison abolition analysis, Captive Genders moves us to imagine the impossible dream of liberation."
—Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and editor of Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity
About the Editors
Eric A. Stanley works at the intersections of radical trans/queer politics, theories of state violence, and visual culture. Eric is currently finishing a PhD in the History of Consciousness department at the University of California, Santa Cruz and continues to organize with Gay Shame. Along with Chris Vargas, Eric is also a co-director of Homotopia (2006) and Criminal Queers (2011).
Nat Smith is a light-skinned Black queer gender variant nerd who loves camping, comics, animals, sci-fi, mathematical equations and is proof that none of these things is antithetical to being from the 'hood. Known to associate with such dangerous organizations as Critical Resistance, Trans/Gender Variant and Intersex Justice Project, you can find Nat casually dropping the "PIC abolition" bomb all while in line for wings.
Published by AK Press in 2011