1st Edition

Trans Vitalities Mapping Ethnographies of Trans Social and Political Coalitions

By Elijah Adiv Edelman Copyright 2021
    162 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    162 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book applies a framework of ‘trans vitalities’ through an ethnographically-anchored exploration of trans coalitional labor and activism in Washington, DC. Specifically, it considers how trans social justice work at the local level exemplifies why and how the notions of ‘trans community’ or ‘trans rights’ must be reconfigured. Trans vitalities, as a framework developed in this volume, functions in three particular ways: 1) to disrupt and rethink what valuable, viable, or quantifiable quality of life looks like; 2) to shift our understandings of community towards ‘coalition’; and 3) as a methodological, theoretical, and application-based set of tools that integrates a radical trans politics and community-based approach towards addressing trans lives. Trans Vitalities incorporates one-on-one interviews, community map-making projects, and an analysis of the DC Trans Needs Assessment, produced through trans coalitional labor.

    An accessible case study for both how to research trans-specific topics and how to apply a framework of trans vitalities, this book is valuable reading for those who research or instruct on LGBTQ topics as well as activists, policy makers, and law makers.

    Introduction: Tracing entangled trans desire lines—vitalities and geometries of motion

    Chapter 1 Trans studies and anthropologists studying ‘trans people’

    Chapter 2 Washington, DC: depicting trans spatialities

    Chapter 3 Mapping as method: articulations of bodies in place

    Chapter 4 Mapping ideology and embodied practices: approaches to documenting and discussing lived experience

    Chapter 5 Measuring vitalities

    Chapter 6 Towards a generative politics of life: trans vitalities through spatialities of social justice


    Elijah Adiv Edelman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rhode Island College, USA. Edelman’s work focuses around—and is anchored in—models of trans coalitional justice across the United States and Global South.