Content note: This episode contains discussions of suicide, as well as allusions to graphic anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-Black violence
Advances in LGBTQ rights in the recent past—marriage equality, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and the expansion of hate crimes legislation—have been accompanied by a rise in attacks against trans, queer and/or gender-nonconforming people of color. In Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable (Duke UP, 2021), theorist and organizer Eric A. Stanley shows how this seeming contradiction reveals the central role of racialized and gendered violence in the United States. Rather than suggesting that such violence is evidence of individual phobias, Stanley shows how it is a structuring antagonism in our social world. Drawing on an archive of suicide notes, AIDS activist histories, surveillance tapes, and prison interviews, they offer a theory of anti-trans/queer violence in which inclusion and recognition are forms of harm rather than remedies to it. In calling for trans/queer organizing and worldmaking beyond these forms, Stanley points to abolitionist ways of life that might offer livable futures.
Dr. Eric A. Stanley is an associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.
Rine Vieth is a researcher studying how the UK Immigration and Asylum tribunals consider claims of belief, how claims of religious belief are evidenced, and the role of faith communities in asylum-seeker support.
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