When a September 2003 Department of Homeland Security warned security personnel to watch out for terrorists dressing in women’s clothing, it tapped into a longer history of conceptual links between "terror" and "transness." This talk highlights these links across post-9/11 U.S. security memos, contemporary popular culture tropes, and Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire to Illustrate the inhospitability of nationalist frameworks to gender non-normativity.
Nick Clarkson earned his PhD in Gender Studies from Indiana University in 2015. He is currently a Postdoctoral Associate in Transgender Studies with the Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies Program at Duke University. His book project, States of Incoherence: Biopolitics and Transnormative Citizenship, examines contemporary transgender citizenship with a focus on airport security practice and identity documentation policy. His previous publications have appeared in Archives of Sexual Behavior, Transgender Studies Quarterly, and in Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s anthology Why Are Faggots so Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform.