Please join us to discuss two very different works with deeply shared concerns around issues of queer and trans identities and justice.
In The Life and Death of Latisha King, Gayle Salamon asks what the killing of transgender teen Latisha King can teach us about the violence of misreading gender identity as sexual identity. Salamon examines a single incident, the shooting of 15-year-old Latisha King by 14-year-old Brandon McInerney in their junior high school classroom. Unpacking the consequences of representing the victim as Larry, a gay boy, instead of Latisha, a trans girl, she draws on the resources of feminist phenomenology to analyze what happened in the school and at the trial that followed and considers how gender functions in the social world. Across court documents and media coverage, Salamon sheds light on the relation between the speakable and unspeakable in the workings of the transphobic imaginary and on the contemporary relevance of Latisha King's story.
In Confessions of the Fox, at once a soaring love story, a puzzling mystery, an electrifying tale of adventure and suspense, and an unabashed celebration of sex and sexuality, a fictional scholar named Dr. Voth discovers a long-lost manuscript—a gender-defying exposé of the adventures of two of the 18th-century's most notorious prison break artists and petty thieves. As Sarah McCarry's review in Tor.com puts it, in Confessions, "Rosenberg turns the conventional antihero’s journey on its head, quilting together a dazzling array of references from Patrick Chamoiseau2 to J.L. Austin to build a novel that is equal parts anticapitalist, anticolonial queer history and delicious, exuberantly sexy caper."
Gayle Salamon is Professor of English and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality, which won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Book in LGBT Studies in 2011. Jordy Rosenberg is the author of Confessions of the Fox, a New York Times Editor's Choice selection and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. He is a professor of 18th-Century Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies + Critical Theory at The University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
This event is cosponsored by Princeton University’s Humanities Council