Queer Remains: Race, Trans Resistance, and the Aesthetics of Violence

Eric Stanley
Gender and Women's Studies
UC Berkeley

In the wake of LGBT formal equality, “Queer Remains” theorizes the co-constitution of assimilation and increased or sustained violence against trans/queer and gender non-conforming people, particularly those of color and/or low income in the United States. Through an archive of coroner reports, court transcripts, HIV reagent banks, suicide notes, and experimental film/video, “Queer Remains” builds a theory of racialized anti-trans/queer violence that works to unsettle the “individual actor” as the primary agent of phobic harm. In contrast to normative understandings, the author argues that these forms of violence are central to, and not an aberration of, liberal democracy. Working with a genealogy of postcolonial, disability, and Black Studies scholars, “Queer Remains” shows how liberal democracy and the larger projects of humanism are built through the slaughter of other types of sociality and thus a radical trans/queer politics must work to imagine forms of sociality that resists liberal humanism’s destructive pulse.