The biodrag of genre in Paul B. Preciado's Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era

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Abstract

Paul B. Preciado's Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (2013) is many things at once: a fictionalised account of its author-narrator's use of synthetic androgens, an alternative history of post-Fordism, and a manifesto for gender revolution. The text juxtaposes a number of disparate genres, including the fictionalized life narrative, the epistolary elegy, political theory, pornography, and the revolutionary manifesto. In this article I suggest that this aesthetic of juxtaposition figures genre as a form of drag, which I understand, in light of Elizabeth Freeman's work, as both a mode of gender performance and a way of articulating the persistence of the past in the present. In Testo Junkie, genre becomes a way of organising a central tension in the book between the hormone's history as an agent of oppression and the hormone's speculative future as an agent of liberation. The text's bifurcated form, I argue, ultimately works to compartmentalise difficult questions about the psychological legacies of racism and patriarchy, and to separate its manifesto for revolution from the histories that produce the revolutionary subject.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages12
JournalFeminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics
Volume2
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • hormones
  • queer
  • transgender
  • gender

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