Tracing erasures and imagining otherwise: theorizing toward an intersectional trans/feminist politics of coalition




Ashbee, Olivia

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Debates between feminists and trans people are often narrowly framed in terms of inclusion and authenticity, or by questions about the extent to which trans identities challenge or reinforce normative conceptions of sex and gender. The terms of these engagements promote essentialist understandings of identity, difference, and community, and neglect to register the heterogeneity and differential locations of both women and trans people. This thesis examines several contemporary sites of contestation between and among feminist and trans scholars with specific attention to the unspoken assumptions and practices of erasure that shape and constrain these critical ‘border wars’, making certain kinds of subjects and conversations central, while rendering others peripheral, out of the question, or even impossible. Applying an intersectional trans/feminist analysis to the conceptual structure and discursive contours they assume, I investigate how such struggles, and our positions within them, might be deconstructed and reconceptualized in ways that disrupt dominant Self/Other relations and, in turn, make new political understandings and alliances possible.



Transgender, Feminism, Inclusion, Authenticity