Handmade: Feelings and Textures of Transgender traces the haptic and ‘felt’ labor of crafting transgender. Turning to craft and its ideals of collectivity and process this book illuminates the ordinary shapes and sensations of bodily transformation, animating the many senses of feeling in readings of wool, skin, sweat, rubber, foam, and fabric. The book will focus on fibrous and fleshy forms of soft sculpture, embroidery, textiles, dance, film, and performance, and thus confront the violence of sexology and diagnosis. Foregrounding emotion, vitality, and feeling, it will posit the “handmade” as a methodology and a redescription of labor. Through such considerations, the book will construct an exhibition history of what one might think of as “transgender art.”
Jeanne Vaccaro is a postdoctoral fellow in Gender Studies at Indiana University, teaching classes on feminist art and a queer archives practicum at the Kinsey Institute. She is the curator of “Bring Your Own Body: transgender between archives and aesthetics,” organized for the Cooper Union, and guest editor of “The Transbiological Body,” a special issue of Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory on queer reproductive ecologies. She has published in GLQ, Radical History Review, A Journal of Modern Craft, TSQ, and Public Books. Recently she has given talks at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. She co-organizes the New York City Transgender Oral History Project for the New York Public Library. She holds a PhD in Performance Studies from New York University and a BA in Women’s Studies from Smith College.