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sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies

Abstract

This essay wields trans methods to trace the trans cultural production of Black feminist thought, specifically by asking the following question: what is trans about Janelle Monáe’s Black feminist theorizing in “Pynk?” Thinking of Black feminist studies astrans studies allows us to disorient the white, which is to say anti-Black, disposition of trans studies. In this analysis, I describe the trans utopian performance of Black feminist sociality, inhabitation, and fugitivity. Moreover, I delineate the trans critiques of sex/gender essentialism, individualism, the State, and the body embedded in Monáe’s film and suggest the radical potential of a Black feminist theory of interdependence, what Monáe calls the “holes of your heart.” I conclude “Pynk” is a Black transfeminist manifesto rooted in abolitionism and in search of ecologies of emancipation from colonial aspirations to an asocial, “self-possessed” body.

Publication Date

5-31-2019

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