University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

“Sue E. Generous: toward a theory of non-transexuality”: A talk with David Valentine, 12/14/07

Sex reassignment surgery (SRS) is a key element of many transexuals’ identities, but also the point at which many progressive people draw the line in “acceptance” of trans-identified people. This paper seeks to attend to this line by asking what produces what Valentine calls “transexual exceptionalism” in some non-transexuals’ understandings of SRS vis-a-vis other forms of bodily augmentation. Valentine argues that attention to non-transexuals’ embodied responses to SRS can contribute to queer and feminist theorizations of the naturalized body.

David Valentine is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. Organized by the IAS collaborative on Global Sexualities. Cosponsored by The Department of History.


  • 2012 winner of the Claire Goldberg Moses award, for the most theoretically innovative article published in Feminist Studies over the past year.  “Our editorial collective discussed our choices in great detail at our last meeting, and we agreed on “Sue E. Generous: Notes Toward a Theory of Non-Transexuality” for good reasons. We appreciated how your essay staked out new positions in conceptualizing non-transexuality, and took thoughtful risks in revisiting older certitudes— even your own. Some of us plan to teach your essay in future courses, and appreciated its fluid and cogent prose.” August, 2013

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