1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Trans Literature

Edited By Douglas A. Vakoch, Sabine Sharp Copyright 2024
    578 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Trans Literature examines the intersection of transgender studies and literary studies, bringing together essays from global experts in the field. This volume provides a comprehensive overview of trans literature, highlighting the core topics, genres, and periods important for scholarship now and in the future.

    Covering the main approaches and key literary genres of the area, this volume includes:

    • Examination of the core topics guiding contemporary trans literary theory and criticism, including the Anthropocene, archival speculation, activism, BDSM, Black studies, critical plant studies, culture, diaspora, disability, ethnocentrism, home, inclusion, monstrosity, nondualist philosophies, nonlinearity, paradox, pedagogy, performativity, poetics, religion, suspense, temporality, visibility, and water.

    • Exploration of diverse literary genres, forms, and periods through a trans lens, such as archival fiction, artificial intelligence narratives, autobiography, climate fiction, comics, creative writing, diaspora fiction, drama, fan fiction, gothic fiction, historical fiction, manga, medieval literature, minor literature, modernist literature, mystery and detective fiction, nature writing, poetry, postcolonial literature, radical literature, realist fiction, Renaissance literature, Romantic literature, science fiction, travel writing, utopian literature, Victorian literature, and young adult literature.

    This comprehensive volume will be of great interest to scholars and students of literature, gender studies, trans studies, literary theory, and literary criticism.

    Introduction, Sabine Sharp

    Part I. Core Topics

    Chapter 1.             Culture and Trans Literature, Nicole Anae

    Chapter 2.             Performativity and Trans Literature, Alexa Alice Joubin

    Chapter 3.             Home and Trans Literature, Alexander Eastwood

    Chapter 4.             Religion and Trans Literature, Erik Wade

    Chapter 5.             Ethnocentrism and Trans Literature, Kristen J. Carella

    Chapter 6.             Archival Speculation and Trans Literature, Travis L. Wagner

    Chapter 7.             Nondualist Philosophies and Trans Literature, Peter I-Min Huang

    Chapter 8.             Temporality and Trans Literature, Lenka Filipova

    Chapter 9.             Nonlinearity and Trans Literature, Chung-Hao Ku

    Chapter 10.         Suspense and Trans Literature, Sam Holmqvist

    Chapter 11.         Paradox and Trans Literature, Libe Garcia Zarranz and france rose hartline

    Chapter 12.         Visibility and Trans Literature, Tesla Cariani

    Chapter 13.         Activism and Trans Literature, Sunaina Jain

    Chapter 14.         Inclusion and Trans Literature, Sawyer Kemp

    Chapter 15.         BDSM and Trans Literature, Jay Szpilka

    Chapter 16.         Monstrosity and Trans Literature, Sabine Sharp

    Chapter 17.         The Anthropocene and Trans Literature, M. A. Miller

    Chapter 18.         Water and Trans Literature, Jeremy Chow

    Chapter 19.         Teaching English as a Foreign Language and Trans Literature, Esteban López-Medina and Mariano Quinterno

    Chapter 20.         Critical Plant Studies and Trans Literature, Michael Mlekoday

    Chapter 21.         Disability and Trans Literature, Nowell Marshall

    Chapter 22.         Black Studies and Trans Literature, Frederick C. Staidum Jr.

    Chapter 23.         Trans Poetics and Trans Literature, Nicole Anae

    Part II. Forms and Genres

    Chapter 24.         Life Writing as Trans Literature, Eamon Schlotterback

    Chapter 25.         Diaspora Fiction as Trans Literature, Aqdas Aftab

    Chapter 26.         Archival Fiction as Trans Literature, Rowan Wilson

    Chapter 27.         Nature Writing as Trans Literature, Lenka Filipova

    Chapter 28.         Science Fiction as Trans Literature, Sabine Sharp

    Chapter 29.         Artificial Intelligence Narratives as Trans Literature, Timothy S. Miller and Tristan Sheridan

    Chapter 30.         Climate Fiction as Trans Literature, Ayşe Şensoy

    Chapter 31.         Gothic Fiction as Trans Literature, Melanie Marotta

    Chapter 32.         Mystery and Detective Fiction as Trans Literature, Casey Cothran

    Chapter 33.         Travel Writing as Trans Literature, Lenka Filipova

    Chapter 34.         Young Adult Literature as Trans Literature, Michelle Deininger

    Chapter 35.         Fan Fiction as Trans Literature, Dean Leetal

    Chapter 36.         Hijra Autobiography as Trans Literature, Nisarga Bhattacharjee and Ananya Chatterjee

    Chapter 37.         Online Performance Poetry as Trans Literature, Emily Roach

    Chapter 38.         Comics as Trans Literature, Margaret Galvan

    Chapter 39.         Manga as Trans Literature, Tara Etherington

    Chapter 40.         The Radical Novel as Trans Literature, Michael Mayne

    Chapter 41.         Minor Literature as Trans Literature, Aaron Hammes

    Part III. Periods

    Chapter 42.         Medieval Literature as Trans Literature, Laura Gazzoli

    Chapter 43.         Renaissance Literature as Trans Literature, Katarzyna Burzyńska

    Chapter 44.         Enlightenment Literature as Trans Literature, Kelly Swartz

    Chapter 45.         Romantic Literature as Trans Literature, Nowell Marshall

    Chapter 46.         Victorian Literature as Trans Literature, Jolene Zigarovich

    Chapter 47.         Modernist Literature as Trans Literature, Todd Nordgren


    Douglas A. Vakoch is President of METI, dedicated to Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Dr. Vakoch’s recent books include Transecology: Transgender Perspectives on Environment and Nature (2020), Transgender India: Understanding Third Gender Identities and Experiences (2022), The Routledge Handbook of Ecofeminism and Literature (2023), and Indian Transgender Literature: Fiction and Autobiography in Regional Perspective (2024).

    Sabine Sharp is a scholar of trans and science fiction studies. In 2021, they completed a PhD titled “Monsters, Time-Travel, and Aliens: Tracing the Genealogies of ‘Trans’ through Feminist Science Fiction Writing and Film” (University of Manchester). Alongside writing about feminist, queer, and trans media and politics, they work as an e-learning support officer at the University of Manchester Library.

    "The sheer depth and breadth of this hefty volume put the lie to prevalent contemporary misrepresentations of trans phenomena as both recent and primarily medical in nature. It spans centuries, genres, and themes to orient scholars and lay readers alike to a vast body of creative literary work by trans people or about trans topics."

    —Susan Stryker, Professor Emerita of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona, author of Transgender History, and founding co-editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly


    "Committed equally to breadth, depth, and studied reflexivity, this book thoughtfully brings an impressive, motley array of voices; conceptual frameworks; urgent political and philosophical questions; and historical, cultural, and disciplinary contexts to bear on trans literature. Arriving at a moment when the stakes of any conflict over how “trans” will be read and represented could not be more clear, The Routledge Handbook of Trans Literature will be valuable resource for writers, students, teachers, and readers of trans lit — anyone interested in cultivating the forms of life, thought, and creativity that “trans” has enabled and might yet."

    — Cameron Awkward-Rich, Associate Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and author of The Terrible We: Thinking with Trans Maladjustment


    "The Routledge Handbook of Trans Literature models a broad, deep, interdisciplinary understanding of trans literature that is self-critical about its categories, assumptions, and procedures; embraces a dynamic view of what “trans” and other relevant sex and gender categories have meant, can mean, and may mean in the future; and pushes the cultural, geographical, historical, biographical, categorical, formal, and conceptual boundaries of the literature we read as “trans.” As a whole and in its compelling parts, this collection will inspire and empower all readers, whatever their identification, to read from trans perspectives and through trans methodologies."

    — Joy Ladin, former David and Ruth Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University and author of Through the Door of Life: A Jewish Journey between Genders 

    "An essential guide to trans literature, in all its forms. The Handbook looks at the achievements of past trans literature, offering a fresh perspective on key texts. While showing how politically vital literature is in a present that is becoming ever more transphobic, this volume also anticipates what future trans literature might look like, suggesting exciting ways it could evolve."

    — Juliet Jacques, Associate Lecturer on Contemporary Art Practice MA at the Royal College of Art and author of Trans: A Memoir


    "This timely collection arrives at a fraught moment: one marked by both transphobic backlash and a remarkable “trans literary revolution,” to use Casey Plett’s phrase. The Handbook’s wide-ranging chapters and diverse contributors help us make sense of this moment—and of the pasts and possible futures of trans representation and liberation."

    — Nicole Seymour, Professor of English at California State University, Fullerton and author of Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination


    "What a rich, transhistorical, transcultural collection—as stimulating as it is field-forming. It's a foundational piece of scholarship that I can't wait to teach with and think with."

    — Kit Heyam, freelance writer, historian, trans awareness trainer, heritage practitioner and author of Before We Were Trans: A New History of Gender