The times and spaces of transplantation: queercrip histories as futurities

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Abstract

With a focus on Larissa Lai's The Tiger Flu, this article explores how transplantation is part of the ongoing transformation of being in a body that is of the world. That is, it examines how we may require other ways of thinking bodies as constituted by histories, spaces and times that may be ignored in the biomedical arena. The Tiger Flu, I argue, calls for an intra- and inter-connected way of thinking how we treat bodies, and thereby ways of working with bodies affected by environmental disasters (both acute and ongoing capitalist and colonial projects), multiple selves and time as more than linear. I turn to queercrip as a way of defying a curative imaginary that dominates transplantation and in so doing examine the colonial, capitalist violence of present day living. I move through Eve Hayward's and Karen Barad's work to examine how the cut of transplantation is a transformation, as integral to the ongoing experience of having a body in the world and yet potentially unique in its force of bringing inter- and intra-relatedness to the fore of one's existence. Rather than sick or cured, I argue that transplantation is a transformation that captures our bodily changes, how the environment constitutes the self, how parts may feel integral to the self or easily disposed of, how viscera may tie us to others, and how the future may only be forged through a re-turn to the past (of the donor and a pre-transplant self). Transplantation is not about loss of self or gaining of an other, but rather about rendering apparent our multispecies, multiworld ties, and thus how we are bound by the histories we forge and the futures we re-member.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Humanities
Early online date20 Aug 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • transplantation
  • queercrip
  • The Tiger Flu

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