Abstract

Abstract:

This essay analyzes 57312*, a seventeenth-century manuscript that is part of the British Library's additional manuscript collection, as evidence of trans experience in the past. Its design includes a series of images of humans and animals that change and transform through manipulation of the flaps of its parchment. In this way, 57312* is part of what Jacqueline Reid-Walsh identifies as the history of playable media; its content, however, deviates from these traditions in unique and surprising ways. Combining Protestant ephemera with images drawn from bestiaries, 57312* does not reflect the norms and traditions invoked in these source materials. Its movable images provide evidence of what Eva Hawyard and Jami Weinstein identify as tranimality. Tranimality signals postmodern and posthuman states of being that resist historically defined categories of difference; tranimals are posthuman, but because their affective work, their representational significance, and their social agency stem from the very frameworks of harm that they resist, they are often intertwined and attached with trans experience. The pliability and design of 57312* operates in this way and thus participates in an expansive history of gender.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-3786
Print ISSN
1531-0485
Pages
pp. 178-205
Launched on MUSE
2020-09-24
Open Access
No
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