Aren Aizura – Beyond Queering the Chain of Care: Affective Feminizations, Biological Investments

Event Date: 18 March 2013

Room B35

Birkbeck Main Building

Birkbeck, University of London

Malet Street

London WC1E 7HX

The Department of Psychosocial Studies presents:

The MA Psychosocial Studies Annual Lecture

Dr Aren Aizura ( Rutgers) – Beyond Queering the Chain of Care: Affective Feminizations, Biological Investments

Martin Manalansan observed in 2007 that we need to “queer” the chain of care—by which he meant transnational care work economies that naturalize and undervalue the labors of women of color. Not only women are subject to transnational care work economies. But what are the implications of this observation? What forms of racialized gendering enable all kinds of bodies to perform queered affective labors? What gendered, sexual and racialized social relations are taking shape through such affective labour practices? This paper reads theories of orientalism and self-orientalism, affective labour and biopolitical subjectivity against transgender studies to provoke affective labor theory to “queer” itself.

Aren Z. Aizura is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies and Institute for Research on Gender, Rutgers University ( His research focuses on how biopolitical technologies of race, gender, transnationality, medicalization and political economy shape and are shaped by transgender and queer bodies.

He is particularly interested in how geographical location and histories of colonialism have fostered or subtended different gender variant and queer subjectivities. His research to date has focused on diverse sites:

the political economies of travel for gender reassignment surgery; tracing circuits of affective labor within trans and queer migration; writing about whiteness as a shifting ideal within transnational economies of body modification in Thailand; and interrogating concepts of homonationalism, biopolitics and necropolitics as they relate to gender variant life.

Introduction by Dr Silvia Posocco (Birkbeck).





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