The Kardashians and Trans Femininity: Appropriation, Artificiality, and Racial Erasure”

Dossier for TSQ*Now

Edited by Dr. Laura Stamm (University of Pittsburgh)

 

With Keeping Up With the Kardashians ending after 19 seasons, it seems timely to reflect upon the ways in which the Kardashian aesthetic transformation has been influenced by (and appropriated) trans femininity. This dossier will ideally include both paranoid and reparative readings. For, as much as Kardashian femininity could not exist without trans femininity, perhaps there is a way in which the Kardashian women have also made trans femininity increasingly possible. What I mean is that the drag queen, trans feminine aesthetic that the Kardashian women have so spectacularly appropriated has also changed the way we conceive of cis femininity as tied to any sort of aesthetic of authenticity. Taken even further, could we create a genealogy of contemporary trans femininity through a reading of the Kardashians? How can we put questions of race at the center of this trans-femme-cis-femme circuit? 

 

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Critical race studies
  • Trans of color critique
  • TV studies
  • Drag culture
  • Body-as-technology critique
  • Personal narrative
  • Social media technology

 

I am seeking contributions for a dossier for TSQ*Now, an online forum on trans studies organized by the TSQ editorial collective. The forum allows scholars to respond to currents issues with more immediacy and flexibility than traditional academic publishing. I am interested in hearing from scholars of any rank, and I especially encourage trans scholars to submit.

 

Interested writers should submit a 150-200 word abstract and a brief bio with affiliation and contact information to laura.e.stamm@gmail.com by February 1st. I am also happy to answer any questions. 

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