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Dirt off her shoulders

Abstract

In a discussion of the problem that Caster Semenya's velocity poses to the category woman, the introduction to this special issue shifts focus from Semenya's body (which has been the topic of much discussion during Semenya's temporary suspension from competition while officials debated whether she could compete as a woman) to the problem of being the fastest woman in the world. That move - from sex to speed (as an escape from the category of sex) - sets the tone for the special issue's consideration of athleticism as a set of discursive practices. The essays focus on queer practices that engage effeminacy, the feminine, and the female - queer figures of athleticism that cross, defy, redefine (that trans) not only categories of sex but also the category of the human. © 2013 by Duke University Press.

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