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Open Access Publications from the University of California

"Trans-Temporality" and the Holidays


According to Ph.D. candidate Jacob Lau, the life-course of transsexual subjects is too often divided into before and after the visible (hormonal and surgical) change. As an alternative to that bifurcated and linear notion of time, Lau is proposing a richer more complex interweaving of several temporalities: “secular historical time”—i.e., the national chronologies that we learn about in high school social studies classes—but also time conceived in religious, liturgical, and seasonal cycles as well as the daily round of events that French theorist Helene Cixous suggestively called “women’s time.”

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