Blind grading

This week, I was reminded of probably the most important pedagogical lesson I learned in grad school.  During my first year, I hadn’t been given much funding–only a “gradership,” a term new to me.  So unlike the rest of my peers, my first semester I was evaluating student work in a political theory course, with maybe 60 students. The professor–a hugely venerated figure in the field who I was excited to have the opportunity to work with–asked me to grade just six papers and he’d review them to see if my grades were on target before I graded all of them. Made sense. When I met with him to go over the papers, he decided that my evaluation was off for five of the six grades: he lowered two, raised three, and left one the same. Humbled, I walked back to the TA office to enter the new grades.

Here’s the thing I realized in the TA hovel: he had lowered the two grades I had assigned to students with traditionally female names and raised the grades of the three students with traditionally male names. And the sixth paper?  During our meeting, he had puzzled over the name for quite some time, wondering if it was man’s or a woman’s name. I had no opinion myself on that.  That grade he left alone.

 

 

Trans Political Economy — CFP

CALL FOR PAPERS

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly Issue 4 Volume 1, 2017

Special issue on Trans- Political Economy

Co-editors Dan Irving (dan_irving@carleton.ca) and Vek Lewis (vek.lewis@sydney.edu.au)

Trans* embodiment, subjectivities, networks, advocacy and resistance are mediated by global capitalism and neoliberal regimes of accumulation on national, state and local levels. This issue invites trans scholarship that engages with political economy as an assemblage of dynamic processes that frame but do not completely determine the material lives of non-normatively sexed and/or gendered individuals and communities.

This issue aims to problematize the multidimensional circuits and flows of capital, labour and bodies across various types of borders. How do the material experiences of trans* subjects advance understandings of the political economy of intra- and transnational mobilities? What do the politics of trans migration reveal about the gender/labour/violence nexus and racialized hierarchies that facilitate the advancement of passable bodies while hindering others? How is the legibility of gendered, racialized, sexualized bodies contingent on being properly located in relation to social, economic and cultural capital? How do trans/feminist and other social justice scholars and activists hold particular trans subjectivities (especially trans women) personally responsible for their participation in geopolitical and biocapitalist relations in ways that other gender non-conforming individuals are not?

Debates concerning post-Fordist productive/consumer relations, gender and immaterial labour represent another point of entry for scholarly-activist inquiry into the political economic relations governing these new times. While the expansion of the service economy within post-industrial societies is characteristic of Post-Fordism (e.g. food and hospitality services, childcare, retail), this regime of accumulation emphasizes the centrality of service relations between workers and consumers in all sectors. Capitalist relations exceed narrowly defined economic processes (i.e. commodity production/consumption) and pivot around affective labour, moral or emotional economies.  In other words, individual bodies and personalities are put to work to create positive consumer experiences (i.e. workers’ appearances must be attractive, voices soothing, and behavior must signal enthusiasm, dedication, and/or deference to authority).  How do the un/der/employment experiences of trans men and women, demonstrate the failure of particular bodies to produce feelings of security, safety, belonging, and satisfaction? How does trans labour contribute to economies of desire? What logics and interests underline the criminalization and/or precarity of such labour and the lives and status of those implicated?

We are producing trans- political economic analysis in times of war, economic and ecological crises. Such precarious times demand inter/disciplinary inquiry into the ways that gender non-conforming bodies and/or Trans Studies as a body of literature, artistic and activist production serve as sites of contestation. How are the logics of capital being embodied and resisted on micropolitical levels, through non-profit organizations, via social service agencies and through other efforts to achieve substantive equality and transformative justice?

Possible topics may include:

  • trans* affective economies
  • trans entrepreneurialism and economic empowerment
  • the structural realities of race and gender in locales of trans* mobilities
  • Trans and allied critical work and activism that seeks to interrupt ruling relations of contemporary capital and Empire to forge a transformative and decolonial project of social and economic justice.
  • trans* intranational and international migration
  • Trans Studies as marketable brand
  • trans theories of value
  • criminalized economies
  • neoliberal biopolitics and/or administering life chances
  • economies of trans representation within neoliberal market society
  • accumulation processes and bodies that matter
  • trans/gender and immaterial labour
  • biomedicine and global capitalism
  • Trans sexualities, commodification and re-appropriation in contemporary junctures.
  • Trans lives in the context of parallel powers, para-state formations and economic contention.
  • Capital and the uses/misuses of stigma
  • substantive equality in contradistinction to formal equality
  • trans necro political economies
  • The profitability of “diversity” in neoliberal contexts and discourses
  • Trans lives, states of exception, disposable labour and market value in the shadow of law and state
  • trans* specific and inclusive social service provision in austere times
  • trans subjectivities and class
  • theorizing economic and ecological crisis
  • Politics of public/private in trans lives
  • Trans sexualities, commodification and re-appropriation in contemporary junctures.
  • trans un/der/employment
  • trans networks and circuits of human, cultural and social capital

To be considered, please send a full length submission by January 31, 2016 to tsqjournal@gmail.com. With your article, please include a brief bio including name, postal address, and any institutional affiliation as well as a 150 word abstract with 3-5 keywords. The expected range for scholarly articles is 5000 to 7000 words, and 1000 to 2000 words for shorter critical essays and descriptive accounts. Illustrations should be included with both completed submissions and abstracts. Any questions should be addressed by e-mail sent to the guest editors for the issue: Dan Irving (dan_irving@carleton.ca) and Vek Lewis (vek.lewis@sydney.edu.au).

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly is a new journal, edited by Paisley Currah and Susan Stryker 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. Every issue of TSQ will be a specially themed issue that 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  http://lgbt.arizona.edu/tsq-main.   For information about subscriptions, visit http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?productid=45648.

 

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