April 15th, ICGC, Transgender Vulnerability and Transnational Reproductive Labor

International Center for the Study of Global Change

ICGC Brown Bag Series

Friday April 15th, 2016


537 Heller Hall

Transgender Vulnerability and Transnational Reproductive Labor

Presented by: Dr. Aren Aizura, Department of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies

Abstract: This paper explores vulnerability as an affective form of biopolitical production through which mobile subjects are assessed through the epistemological violence of transnational U.S. neoliberal multiculturalism. Within neoliberal diversity politics, transgender immigrants have become a newly recognizable population about whom the arbiters of diversity must be educated and informed. However, often the first fact that we hear about transgender immigrants is their generalized “vulnerability,” that renders them irrevocably other, unknowable except through helplessness and abjection. Through a reading of international public health research on transgender labor migrants (often sex work or care work), I show how foregrounding the vulnerability of the subject produces a demand for protection that reproduces neoliberal governance in the form of increased regulation of mobility.
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