“David Valentine had the good fortune to be conducting anthropological fieldwork in New York at the precise moment when a new term, ‘transgender,’ was first coming into widespread use. Now we have the good fortune of sharing his ethnographic insight into this new category’s emergence. Imagining Transgender offers a provocative on-the-ground account of this important shift in Western notions of gender identity and sexuality. The book is sure to stir debate in the emerging field of transgender studies, as well as in other disciplines that concern themselves with this timely topic.”—Susan Stryker, coeditor of The Transgender Studies Reader
“The definitive study that documents the rise and spread of ‘transgender’ as a category and a field of knowledge, activism, and power but also as a mechanism for disenfranchisement, discrimination, and violence. Deeply learned, wonderfully accessible, and ethnographically rich, this remarkable book sets a new benchmark not only for all future work on transgender but also for how we might think about gender, sexuality, identity, and politics more generally.”—Don Kulick, author of Travesti: Sex, Gender, and Culture among Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes
“There is a paucity of ethnographically based work on transgender, and David Valentine’s book is a major contribution not only ethnographically but also historically and theoretically. Valentine is concerned with a range of value and political questions, committed explicitly to humane positions without being ideological or propagandist.”—Esther Newton, author of Margaret Mead Made Me Gay: Personal Essays, Public Ideas
About the Author
David Valentine is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota.