Where is the Transgender in the TransCanadian? Kai Cheng Thom and Vivek Shraya's Response-able Fictions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionRevista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses (RCEI). 2019, 78 141-153.
This article seeks to activate a much-needed discussion about the place of transgender literary production within the field of transCanadian literature, in its multifaceted iterations. The motivation behind it sparks from the imperative to respond, while simultaneously being accountable for the narratives we produce as feminist researchers in a moment of increasing racism, transphobia, and social divisiveness in Canadian literary communities. Departing from this desire, this article turns to Kai Cheng Thom and Vivek Shraya’s ethico-poetic storying and worlding through the lens of queer and trans philosophers Donna Haraway, Karen Barad, and Susan Stryker. Thom’s Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir (2016) and Shraya’s She of the Mountains (2014), I contend, pose a critique of the multiple modes of violence targeting racialized queer and trans communities, while simultaneously situating response-ability as an ethical compass from which to navigate, and not drown, in this global era of indifference.