CfP: Transvestite/Transsexual (Transgender Studies Quarterly); by: 01.10.2020

Transgender Studies Quarterly 8.4, Guest Editors: Emmett Harsin Drager and Lucas Platero (Web)

Proposals by: 01.10.2020

Where do we find the transvestite and the transsexual? The ascendance and mainstreaming of “transgender” and its offshoots in its Anglo-American idiom represent more than a shift in nomenclature. While “transsexual” and “transvestite” were central categories that organized trans experience across a wide array of geographies, genders, and racial and class coordinates during the twentieth century, these categories have receded into the background of Anglophone activism and academia. Trans studies, which has been dominated by US and English-based scholarship, has largely moved on from transsexuals in favor of ostensibly more open-ended and proliferating models of gender variance.

Transvestites, for their part, have never occupied the center of the field. Rendered anachronistic, both groups are more vulnerable than ever to long-standing stigmas with a new temporal twist. Either tragic figures who could never be their “true” selves, in the case of transvestites, or hyper gender-conforming figures limited by the time in which they lived, in the case of transsexuals, the forward march of transgender has buried the fact that there are many living people who still identify with and live under those signs. Just as importantly, a colonial spatial logic has also exported transsexuality and tranvestism out of the global north, embedding them as racial markers of gender in the global south. This process is taking place in spite of vocal counter-claims from communities that reject a Euro-American telos to trans identity and politics.

This special issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly seeks a critical reevaluation of transsexuals and transvestites, at once temporal, geographical, and political. Where do transsexuals and transvestites reside–historically, temporally, geographically, regionally? How have these categories been rendered untimely, retrograde, or counterrevolutionary? And how do they manifest geographically, regionally, and racially? The editors seek contributions that challenge the relegation of the transsexual and transvestite to another time and place in a broad sense, not just by or in transgender studies. And they seek to problematize how these categories do and don’t easily convene people across transnational, temporal, and linguistic boundaries. The editors particularly invite contributions from the global south that challenge the racialization of these categories and people by a Euro-American dominant account of time and geography, as well as contributions from the global north that challenge the invisibilization of transsexuals and transvestites by race and class.

This issue welcomes a wide range of formats for contributions, grouped by two sections: scholarly research articles and creative writing for a transsexual/transvestite scrapbook.

In seeking a wide range of contributors, the editors invite contributions in English and Spanish.

Research Articles (5,000-7,000 words):

  • Scholarly articles between might address, but are not limited to:
  • The racialization of transsexuality and transvestism
  • The spatial and geographic histories of “transsexual” and “transvestite”
  • Class dimensions of transsexuality and transvestism
  • The presumed heterosexuality of transsexuality and transvestism
  • Local and regionally specific accounts of transsexual and transvestite life
  • Personal archives, ephemera and intimate histories/memory
  • Contact ads, personals, transsexual directories, and correspondence
  • Ballroom and pageant culture
  • Carnaval and beauty contests
  • Impersonators, drag, cabaret, night life
  • Cross-dressing and its relationship to transness
  • Sex work and street life
  • Travesti cultures, identities, and political movements

Transsexual/Tranvesite Scrapbook Contributions (500-2,000 words)

This special issue will feature a “scrapbook” composed of everyday material cultures of transsexuals and transvestites, with a multimedia companion on TSQ’s upcoming online platform. The hand-made and assembled form holds space in the issue for central non-scholarly trans genres and aims to stage the heterogeneity of “transvestite” and “transsexual” social life. We invite submissions of media and material in any language (photo albums; letters; art; and images of personal effects, ephemera, and other everyday items). We invite contributors to include a short (500-2000 words) written engagement to accompany their scrapbook items. This writing could take any genre, including but not limited to: translations; literary and poetic reflection; letters to the subjects represented in the materials; interviews with the owners/subjects of the material; manifestos and pamphlets; or other creative, speculative, and reflective work. Contributors from outside Anglo-American academia, in particular, are invited to consider the difficulty of translating everyday materials into the dominant categories of “transsexual” and “transvestite.” Please note that contributors will need to secure all required permissions to reproduce images, art, and ephemera

Please send complete submissions by October 1, 2020. To submit a manuscript, please visit If this is your first time using Editorial Manager, please register first, then proceed with submitting your manuscript. If you have any difficulties with the process, contact the journal at tsqjournal at All manuscripts must be double-spaced, including quotations and endnotes, and blinded throughout. You must also submit an abstract, keywords, and biographical note at the time of initial submission. Please visit the editorial office’s website for a detailed style guide. Questions for the editors of this issue may be addressed to sends e-mail).

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly is an academic journal edited by Susan Stryker, Francisco J. Galarte, Grace Lavery, Jules Gill-Peterson, and Abraham B. Weil, and published by Duke University Press. TSQ aims to be the journal of record for the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies and to promote the widest possible range of perspectives on transgender phenomena broadly defined. One issue of TSQ each year is a non-themed open call, with the other three issues devoted to special themes; every issue also contains regularly recurring features such as reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces. To learn more about the journal and see calls for papers for other special issues, visit For information about subscriptions, visit

Source: Qstudy-l