Trans Vitalities: Mapping Ethnographies of Trans Social and Political Coalitions, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Trans Vitalities

Mapping Ethnographies of Trans Social and Political Coalitions, 1st Edition

By Elijah Adiv Edelman


168 pages | 26 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780815356516
pub: 2020-08-15
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This book applies a framework of ‘trans vitalities’ through an ethnographically-anchored exploration of trans coalitional labor and activism in Washington, D.C. Specifically, it considers how trans social justice work at the local level and 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) shift our understandings of community towards ‘coalition’; and 3) 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 and law makers.

Table of Contents

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

About the Author

Elijah Adiv Edelman is an Assistant 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.

About the Series

Theorizing Ethnography

Concept, Context, Critique

The Theorizing Ethnography book series seeks to reorient ethnographic engagements across disciplines, methods and ways of knowing. By focusing on ethnography as a point of tension between abstract thinking and situated life-worlds, the series promotes ethnographic method and writing as an analytical form that is always partial, open-ended and epistemologically querying.

Theorizing Ethnography employs 'concept', 'context' and 'critique' as devices to stimulate creative ethnographic thinking that transects lines of analysis and location. We publish work that reaches beyond academic, political and life-world divisions, and as such the series fosters contributions from across socially and critically engaged fields of practice. We welcome proposals for single-authored and multi-authored full-length monographs, as well as high quality edited volumes of disciplinary and trans-disciplinary resonance.

Possible themes include:
• The politics of knowledge, cultures of classification and borders of being
• Traffic in situated forms of knowledge and meta-theory
• Nature-cultures, emergent ecologies, and interspecies thinking
• Subjectivities, desires, and aspirations
• Materiality, infrastructures, futures
• Relations, sedimentation, emergence
• Queer, feminist, decolonial and otherwise critical ethnographies


Elisabeth L. Engebretsen: [email protected]
E.J. Gonzalez-Polledo: [email protected]
Silvia Posocco: [email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General