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Editors' Note, Genders Future Tense: "The Prime Task"

By Karen Jacobs and Judith Roof »»» A journal such as Genders, which might promulgate heterogeneity in the form of critical, analytical, philosophical and even personal works, offers a platform from which a divergent range of interrogations, approaches, interventions, and observations might circulate and contribute to, inform, and benefit from larger conversations among interested critics, thinkers, writers, and activists.

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The Biggest Thing Is, It’s the End of Gender in Society

By Ellen Rooney »»» The “biggest thing” is always a matter of debate and never more than when it involves the apparent death of something or the debut of something new. Gender seems, at the moment, to be a thing that is both old and new, coming to an end and very big, paradoxically attached both to apocalyptic threats and the startlingly utopian. My essay negotiates this uneven terrain by means of five propositions, all of them formulated in what might be considered an emphatic idiom.

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Shall We Gender: Where? Who? When?

By Ewa Plonowska Ziarek. »»» Drawing on Arendt’s political philosophy, this essay redefines the meaning of gender in terms of action, as a modality of power and relations to others, and in terms of temporality or what Arendt calls the “gap between past and future.” It contests the erasure of Eastern-European feminisms, evident for instance in the First/Third World, Global North/Global South, West/non-West distinctions in transnational feminisms.

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Los Huecos Negros: Cannibalism, Sodomy and the Failure of Modernity in Tierra Firme

By Marcia Ochoa »»» To tunnel into the black hole of modernity and the coloniality of gender: this essay proposes time travel between early contact texts in the Americas and the contemporary life world of Yhajaira, a transformista from Caracas. I engage a chronopolitics that works against the developmental logic of modernity to inhabit and embody queer forms of pleasure, though I will attach these to the quotidian violence lived by transformistas in Caracas in the early 21st century rather than to a queer existence.

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The Future of Lesbian Genders

By Lisa L. Moore »»» Does “lesbian” have a future? Queer and transgender theories are sometimes understood to have supplanted the analytic and cultural usefulness of the term lesbian. This essay identifies a tradition of intertwined lesbian, trans, and woman of color feminist work on gender that has deeply shaped current theories of gender. As an example of the interpretive possibilities of lesbian genders, the essay then sketches out a lesbian history of the sonnet to show how what starts out as a limit or exclusion can be creatively and campily refigured as an aesthetic.

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"Viral’s Undiscriminating Spiral”: An Intersectional, Feminist, and Ludic Approach to Animal Rights

By Rachel Lee »»» Treating Larissa Lai’s poem “ham” — titled after the NASA space chimpanzee — this essay addresses the blackening and Orientalizing of the non-human animal and develops a method attentive to the advancement of high-capital science through transforming non-white human races and non-human animals into experimental laborers. Additionally, it explores the ludic energies of microbiological and primate pleasures as portrayed by Lai — queer proliferations that exceed efforts to channel sex and intimacies toward productive ends.

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Female-Centered TV in an Age of Precarity

By Jorie Lagerwey, Julia Leyda and Diane Negra »»» This article argues that a set of critically acclaimed, female-centered television series are generating important dispatches about women's relation to new capitalist subjectivities. Among their notable features are awareness of new economic and cultural regimes, a tendency to assume that women’s working lives entail a struggle with openly corrupt and structurally racist capitalist practices, and co-presentation of female empowerment with acquiescence to the structural status quo.

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Splay: Moving From Incursion in New Orleans and Kingston

By Nadia Ellis »»» This essay explores the impact of militarized presence in two cities not often thought together: New Orleans and Kingston. In both cases communities that were perceived as hyper-autonomous, culturally problematic, and politically unmanageable were subject to military-style incursion. By tracing similarities between the events in New Orleans and Kingston as well as recent electronic musics and dance cultures there, the essay imagines splayed kinesthetic as a metaphor for diasporic movement from/against incursion into these two black cities.

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The Cultural Politics of Perversion: Augustine, Shakespeare, Freud, Foucault

By Jonathan Dollimore »»» I want to say something about the intellectual context out of which this paper grew, acutely aware of the problems facing humanities departments in both the US and the UK, and the seemingly grim outlook for them in the future. This essay argues that perversion is not only a culturally central phenomenon but, thereby, also a crucial category for cultural analysis.