Assistant Professor , University of Massachusetts Amherst
Transgender studies was founded on a split from disability. That is, in many of the field’s founding texts, trans authority was produced through a disavowal of disability in general and madness in particular. Refuse begins from the premise that this tactic has delimited the intellectual and political horizons of trans thought, limiting the field’s ability to respond to the very lives and texts it sought the authority to interpret. Building on work from disability studies and affect studies, this project instead argues for and models trans theory that thinks with, rather than against, the bad feelings and mad habits of thought endemic to the trans archive. In doing so, it demonstrates that, rather than only impeding or confining trans life, thought, and creativity, forms of maladjustment have been—and will be—central to their development.