Eliza Steinbock
Speaking Transsexuality in the Cinematic Tongue
– Somatechnics: Queering the Technologisation of Bodies
book chapter 2009


With transgender studies’ experimental spirit in mind, I wish to investigate what may be gained from engaging another medium, such as film, to approach the question of a ‘trans language’. If it is true that the transsexual cannot ‘speak’ in (intelligible) discourse, I wonder whether s/he can find a suitable mode of utterance in the visual and moving ‘language’ of cinema. Following that, I would like to speculate how cinematic language might suggest new ways in which transsexuality might be read. Instrumental to this approach is the notion of ‘somatechnics’ at issue in this collection, a notion that pertains to both cinema and transsexuality. I will explore ways in which this term opens up new modes of analysis of sex-gender constructions; I seek an understanding of gender and language wherein transsexual embodiments and practices are intelligible.