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Allucquére Sandy Stone. Coming Out Transgender. 2000 1/6

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Published on Apr 17, 2008

http://www.egs.edu/ Allucquére Rosanne Sandy Stone, performance artist, researcher in neurology and anthropologist of the virtual world, antichrist, and transsexual talking about transgender, feminist, gay, lesbian, legal and social issues, vagina monologues, sex, coming out and giving a sneak preview of her most recent theater project . Public open video philosophy lecture for the faculty and students of the European Graduate School, Media and Communication Studies Department Program, EGS, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe, 2000.

Allucquére Rosanne Stone Sandy Stone Ph.D. Wolfgang Köhler Chair at EGS, and is the Wolfgang Köhler Professor, department of Radio-TV-Film, and Director, Advanced Communication Technology Lab, University of Texas at Austin. Director of the Group for the Study of Visual Systems at the Center of Cultural Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz. Sandy Stone has has organized several international conferences on cyberspace in Santa Cruz, Austin, Banff/Canada, and Karlsruhe, Germany, between 1991-1995. Author of The War of Desire and Technology at the Close of the Mechanical Age.

In 1974 Stone settled in Santa Cruz, California, and undertook gender reassignment with the Stanford Gender Dysphoria Program in Palo Alto. During this period she published pseudonymously in "The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction" and "Galaxy" magazine. Later she became a member of the Olivia Records collective, a popular women's music label. In 1987 Stone was accepted in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California, where she studied with Donna Haraway and James Clifford. Stone wrote the seminal essay "The Empire Strikes Back: A Posttranssexual Manifesto" while Haraway's student. The paper was influenced by Haraway's A Manifesto For Cyborgs (later retitled "A Cyborg Manifesto" and first published in Social Text, 1984) and by the turbulent political foment in feminism of that period, but primarily as a reaction to what Stone perceived as a transphobic strain in feminist academia exemplified by Raymond's book. "The Empire Strikes Back" later became the center of an extensive citation network of transgendered academics and a foundational work for transgendered researchers and theorists.

The central point of the essay was that transgendered persons were ill-served by hiding their status, and that coming out -- which Stone called "reading oneself aloud" -- would inevitably lead to self-empowerment. Thus Empire Strikes Back rearticulated what was at the time a radical gay-lesbian political statement into a transgendered voice. The importance of this move lay in the political circumstance of the 1980s vis-a-vis mainstream gay and lesbian political action at the national level in the United States. During this period, mainstream gay and lesbian activists generally suppressed transgender issues and visible transgendered activists, fearing that they would frighten the uncertain and still shaky liberal base during a delicate period of consolidation. At this critical juncture, and against mainstream efforts to silence fringe voices, Empire Strikes Back galvanized a largely scattered and disorganized population of young transgendered scholars and focused the attention of this demographic on the need for self-assertion within a largely reactionary institutional structure. Public open lecture with students of the European Graduate School EGS, Media and Communication Studies department program, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, Europe, Sandy Stone 2000

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