Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Editors' Note

Academic journal article Women's Studies Quarterly

Editors' Note

Article excerpt

Trans-: Transgender, transnational, transspeciation, translation, transformation. Trans- as connection: shared space and time, transadantic, transhistorical. Trans- as violation: transgression, transsection. Trans- as both assemblage and dissassemblage, as folded into structures of power as well as a movement of becoming. Most significantly for us, perhaps, trans- as a way of seeing and thinking.

This issue reaches across disciplinary borders, across spatial and temporal planes, moving as well among public and private, academic and personal, mind and body, and troubling those distinctions. In Paisley Currah, Lisa Jean Moore, and Susan Stryker's moving words, it is "the capillary space of connection and circulation between the macro- and micro-poh tical." It also stretches from writer to reader, a trans-action necessarily invested with hope for language's transformative promise.

Trans-, a prefix with its matching suffix forever suspended, is where we locate ourselves, in the act of reaching, questioning any easy placement of the term. Likewise, Hala Kamals's fascinating account of translating "gender" in Arabic reveals there is no proper match for that word with its heavily coded constellation of meanings. There is also no singularly normative body. Elizabeth Loeb's wonderful study of the oddly arbitrary somatic models underlying gender law, and Aaron Norton and Ozzie Zehner's discussion of the bodies that violate medicalized definitions of motherhood, reveal that the medico-juridical norm is as arbitrarily constructed, internally fissured, and profoundly contradictory, as any of the paradigms that challenge it. There is no ideal space, nor one that is easily bounded. From the urban-sprawl wastelands of James Shultis's prose-poems, to the uncomfortably small towns of Lucas Crawford's memories, trans-bodies traverse regions and nations: Turkey, Venezuela, Iran, Germany, New York City, generating affiliations that complicate nation and citizenship as well as other categories of identification.

We called this reading experience a trans-action, to emphasize the extent to which this issue is a call to action, yet the model of a transaction perhaps suggests too much finality, as if you read the articles and then you're done. …

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