Social Science

A Short History of Trans Misogyny
Jules Gill-Peterson
Verso Books - 25.00€ -

An accessible, bold new vision for the future of intersectional trans feminism, called "one of the best books in trans studies in recent years" by Susan Stryker.

Why are trans women the most targeted of LGBT people? Why are they in the crosshairs of a resurgent anti-trans politics around the world? And what is to be done about it by activists, organizers, and allies?

A Short History of Transmisogyny is the first book-length study to answer these urgent but long overdue questions. Combining new historical analysis with political and activist accessibility, the book shows why it matters to understand trans misogyny as a specific form of violence with a documentable history. Ironically, it is through attending to the specificity of trans misogyny that trans women are no longer treated as inevitably tragic figures. They emerge instead as embattled but tenacious, locked in a struggle over the meaning and material stakes of gender, labor, race, and freedom.

The book travels across bustling port cities like New York, New Orleans, London and Paris, the colonial and military districts of the British Raj, the Philippines, and Hawai'i, and the lively travesti communities of Latin America.

The book shows how trans femininity has become legible as a fault line of broader global histories, including colonial government, the sex work industry, the policing of urban public space, and the line between the formal and informal economy. This transnational and intersectional approach reinforces that trans women are not isolated social subjects who appear alone; they are in fact central to the modern social world.

On Cuddling: Loved to Death in the Racial Embrace
Phanuel Antwi
Pluto Press - 23.00€ -

Ranging from the terrifying embrace of the slave ship's hold to the racist encoding of 'cuddly' toys, On Cuddling is a unique combination of essay and poetry that contends with the way racial violence is enacted through intimacy.

Informed by Black feminist and queer poetics, Phanuel Antwi focuses his lens on the suffering of Black people at the hands of state violence and racial capitalism. As radical movements grow to advance Black liberation, so too must our ways of understanding how racial capitalism embraces us all. Antwi turns to cuddling, an act we imagine as devoid of violence, and explores it as a tense transfer point of power.

Through archival documents and multiple genres of writing, it becomes clear that the racial violence of the state and economy has always been about the (mis)management of intimacies, and we should face it with resistance and solidarity.

Phanuel Antwi is Canada Research Chair in Black Arts and Epistemologies. He is an artist, teacher and organiser concerned with race, poetics, movements, intimacy and struggle. He works with text, dance, film and photography to intervene in artistic, academic and public spaces. He is a curator, activist and associate professor at the University of British Columbia.

Ordinary Notes
Christina Sharpe
FSG Originals - 35.00€ -

A singular achievement, Ordinary Notes explores profound questions about loss and the shapes of Black life that emerge in the wake. In a series of 248 notes that gather meaning as we read them, Christina Sharpe skillfully weaves artifacts from the past—public ones alongside others that are poignantly personal—with present realities and possible futures, intricately constructing an immersive portrait of everyday Black existence. The themes and tones that echo through these pages—sometimes about language, beauty, memory; sometimes about history, art, photography, and literature—always attend, with exquisite care, to the ordinary-extraordinary dimensions of Black life.

At the heart of Ordinary Notes is the indelible presence of the author’s mother, Ida Wright Sharpe. “I learned to see in my mother’s house,” writes Sharpe. “I learned how not to see in my mother’s house . . . My mother gifted me a love of beauty, a love of words.” Using these gifts and other ways of seeing, Sharpe steadily summons a chorus of voices and experiences to the page. She practices an aesthetic of "beauty as a method,” collects entries from a community of thinkers toward a “Dictionary of Untranslatable Blackness,” and rigorously examines sites of memory and memorial. And in the process, she forges a brilliant new literary form, as multivalent as the ways of Black being it traces.

New Bones Abolition: Captive Maternal Agency and the (After)Life of Erica Garner
Joy James
Common Notions - 20.00€ -

New Bones Abolition addresses "those of us broken enough to grow new bones" in order to stabilize our political traditions that renew freedom struggles. 

Reflecting on police violence, political movements, Black feminism, Erica Garner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, caretakers and compradors, Joy James analyzes the "Captive Maternal," which emerges from legacies of colonialism, chattel slavery and predatory policing, to explore the stages of resistance and communal rebellion that manifest through war resistance. She recognizes a long line of gendered and ungendered freedom fighters, who, within a racialized and economically-stratified democracy, transform from coerced or conflicted caretakers into builders of movements, who realize the necessity of maroon spaces, and ultimately the inevitability of becoming war resisters that mobilize against genocide and state violence.  

New Bones Abolition weaves a narrative of a historically complex and engaged people seeking to quell state violence. James discusses the contributions of the mother Mamie Till-Mobley who held a 1955 open-casket funeral for her fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, murdered by white nationalists; the 1971 rebels at Attica prison; the resilience of political prisoners despite the surplus torture they endured; the emergence of Black feminists as political theorists; human rights advocates seeking abolition; and the radical intellectualism of Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner slain in 2014 by the NYPD. James positions the Captive Maternal within the evolution of contemporary abolition. Her meditation on, and theorizing of, Black radicals and revolutionaries works to honor Agape-driven communities and organizers that deter state/police predatory violence through love, caretaking, protest, movements, marronage, and war resistance.

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