This article explores how race and gender become distinguished from each other in contemporary scholarly and activist debates on the comparison between transracialism and transgender identities. The article argues that transracial-transgender distinctions often reinforce divides between autological (self-determined) and genealogical (inherited) aspects of subjectivity and obscure the constitution of this division through modern technologies of power.
- gender identity,
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The author would like to thank the anonymous peer reviewers for their encouraging and helpful comments on a previous draft of this article. The author also thanks numerous friends and interlocutors, particularly Lisa Duggan, Srila Roy, and Naomi Greyser, for their engagement with earlier and more informal articulations of some of the ideas contained in this article on social media, which helped the author to develop the argument in its current form.
Aniruddha Dutta is an Assistant Professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa. Dutta’s research interests lie in globalization, development, gender, and sexuality, particularly the institutionalization of gender and sexual identity politics in India. Their work has appeared in journals such as International Feminist Journal of Politics, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and South Asian History and Culture. Their current book project, Globalizing through the Vernacular: The Making of Gender and Sexual Minorities in Eastern India, explores the role of seemingly peripheral or “local” communities, networks, and subcultures in the globalizing expansion of liberal democratic discourses of gender/sexual identity and rights, studying how this process transforms, reconfigures, or reproduces structural hierarchies of language, class, caste, and citizenship.