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Reactivating the Queer Moment: Transgenderational Touch and the Sex Time Machine

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 10, 2019. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Feminist/Queer Colloquium
Meeting Description: 

In 2017 a major grant from the Creative Works Fund supported lesbian curator E.G. Crichton in a year-long multi-modal collaborative art exhibition and scholarly publication responding to Out/Look: the National Lesbian and Gay Quarterly, which published from 1988 to 1993 and which some see as the first journal of queer studies. The invitation to participate provoked what proved to be a fruitful collision between my own knowledge of having been factually, materially present in queer community in that time and place, and the equally factual reality of trans invisibility in the Out/Look archive. From that dissonance, I created the Transgenderational Touch Project to connect younger trans artists in the Bay to their transcestral presence in the queer moment. Weaving together memory, archival research, and living community relationships in a four-month social practice piece, the Transgenderational Touch Project sought to recreate me as a kind of time machine through which my interlocutors could literally touch the past. My presentation will describe the project and lay out questions that it raises about the historical density of fantasy and the possibility of making retroactive creative adjustments to the archive.

Julian Carter is chair of the Program in Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts, where he teaches embodiment theory, performance studies, and social practice. Both his scholarly and his creative work examine pleasure, power, and the bodily experience of self and community. Carter is the author of The Heart of Whiteness: Normal Sexuality and Race in America, 1890-1940 (Duke 2007) and essays published in TDR, GLQ, TSQ, and The Journal of the History of Sexuality, as well as numerous anthologies, blogs, and zines.

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