Publisher: AK Press
Released: September 30, 2015
Captive Genders was the first book of its kind. It remains the touchstone for studies of trans and gender-queer people in prison. It has been revamped to appeal to recent broadened interest. With a new Foreword by CeCe MacDonald and essay by Chelsea Manning.
Praise for Captive Genders
"Captive Genders is an exciting assemblage of writings—analyses, manifestos, stories, interviews—that traverse the complicated entanglements of surveillance, policing, imprisonment, and the production of gender normativity. Focusing discerningly on the encounter of transpersons with the apparatuses that constitute the prison industrial complex, the contributors to this volume create new frameworks and new vocabularies that surely will have a transformative impact on the theories and practices of twenty-first century abolition."
—Angela Y. Davis, professor emerita, University of California, Santa Cruz
"The contributors to Captive Genders brilliantly shatter the assumption that the antidote to danger is human sacrifice. In other words, for these thinkers: where life is precious life is precious."
—Ruth Wilson Gilmore, author of Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California
"Captive Genders is at once a scathing and necessary analysis of the prison industrial complex and a history of queer resistance to state tyranny. By analyzing the root causes of anti-queer and anti-trans violence, this book exposes the brutality of state control over queer/trans bodies inside and outside prison walls, and proposes an analytical framework for undoing not just the prison system, but its mechanisms of surveillance, dehumanization and containment.
—Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?
"Captive Genders is a groundbreaking and long-awaited anthology that performs the critical task of breathing transgender and gender queer voices, visions, and lives into movements for prison abolition, an so much more."
—Andrea Ritchie for Social Justice on JSTOR
"In Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, editors Eric A. Stanley and Nat Smith highlight the underobserved and rarely discussed experiences of genderqueer, queer, and trans/gender nonconforming Americans who are overincarcerated, hypersurveilled, and targeted under the present iteration of corporal punishment in the United States."
—Jenn M. Jackson for National Review of Black Politics
"Seldom does mainstream LGBTQ conversation focus on the lives of transgender people behind bars and the systems of oppression that led them there. Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, in its recently released expanded second edition, endeavors to address this dearth of discourse."
—Tristan Wright for Out Alliance
"Captive Genders is a wide-ranging anthology that captures ethnographic studies, personal essays, and calls-to-action. Explicitly pro-prison abolition, the editors include content designed to help the reader become an effective prison critic and abolitionist, including a 'Tools/Resources' section with writing and brainstorming exercises."
—Jess White for Wagadu: A Journal of Transnational Women's & Gender Studies
"Ultimately, we need a reconciliation that takes seriously the novel insights and work of queer and trans radicals, while also linking to other efforts to refound and renew socialist politics. For those seeking such a project, learning from the insights presented in Captive Genders is a great place to start."
—Michelle E. O'Brien for H-Socialisms
"LGBT academics from all disciplines, as well as human rights activists, would find Captive Genders a valuable resource, as it is the first book that specifically addresses transpeople in the Prison Industrial Complex."
—Rachel Wexelbaum for Lambda Literary
"Captive Genders is rewarding and necessary reading for anyone who desires to learn about trans*people in the prison-industrial complex."
—Arlyn Katen for Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice
Eric A. Stanley is a radical queer activist, outlaw academic, experimental filmmaker.
Nat Smith is a member of Trans/gender Variant in Prison Committee and an organizer with Critical Resistance.
CeCe McDonald was unjustly incarcerated after fatally stabbing a transphobic attacker in 2011. She was released in 2014 after serving nineteen months for second-degree manslaughter.