EP1: Abraham Weil: The Mattering of Black Trans* Political Life


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By Ryan Leack & Ellen Wayland-Smith, Ryan Leack, and Ellen Wayland-Smith. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Abraham Weil, Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at California State University, Long Beach, discusses with USC faculty his article "Trans*versal Animacies and the Mattering of Black Trans* Political Life," published in Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities (Volume 22, 2017), and its applications for the teaching of writing and rhetoric. Here he explores trans*versal connections between transness, blackness, and the animal through Félix Guattari's notion of "transversal" in connection with #blacklivesmatter and #blacktranslivematter movements that draw on critical animal studies to reveal ways that species hierarchies are always present in processes of racialization that allow some lives to matter more, or less, than others. How can such realizations become the work of specific approaches to writing and writing assignments? Join us for this exploration and more.


Ryan Leack
Meridith Kruse
Abe Weil
Chris Belcher
Jessi Johnson
Scott Smith

Sources Referenced

Crenshaw, Kimberly. “Mapping the Margins,” 1991.
Deleuze and Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus, 1980.
Deleuze and Guattari. Anti-Oedipus, 1972.
Foucault, Michel. History of Madness, 2006.
—. Madness and Civilization, 1961.
Hartman, Saidiya. Scenes of Subjection, 1997.
Jung, C.G. Red Book, 2009.
Snorton, C. Riley. Black on Both Sides, 2020.
Pulp, Andrew. Dark Deleuze, 2016.
Stryker, Susan. The Transgender Studies Reader, 2006.
Notable Quotes from Abe

“Education is so vital, and thinking is so vital, and theory is so vital, and it’s lifesaving stuff, but how do you meet the world through that theory, how do you live that theory when these institutions are organized in the way that they are? It might be through some of those collective smaller things that we could do, assignments that we could do . . . . How can you rethink writing through an embodied act in the world? That’s a really complicated thing to be able to give to somebody.”
“Some attempts are trying to be made to move past these ideas of molar identity politics. So I don’t want to dispense with the idea of intersectional analysis at all, but I do want to question what skills and dimensions that we can think through intersectionality beyond those sort of identities as stagnant or multiplying.”
“What always excited me about student writing is when they take a risk that pays off. Not all risks pays off. . . . But if we don’t pressure ourselves to experiment, we often solidify or codify one ‘right’ way of doing something.”
“I think part of what I think is happening, and the move toward embodied thought, is an acknowledgment that our lives have capacities and that we don’t need to necessarily author our own stories in order to use frameworks to produce knowledge. That it doesn’t have to be like, let me tell you this sad story about myself, but it has to be about the framework being genuine to the molecular experience of the subject.”

9 episodes