PIKSI-Rock 2023: PJ DiPietro, Syracuse University
Title: Trans of Color, an Oxymoron: Sacredness, Selfhood, and Impressibility Beneath Animal Flesh
Abstract: Infrahuman flesh foregrounds colonial differences as they lie between animal and trans-monstrous embodiments. By engaging the body-politics of travesti communities in Argentina as well as queer and trans* Latinx communities in California, a novel model for decolonizing transgender arises. This model shifts our attention away from (trans)gender mobilities. Instead, it points to impressible transitions between mundane and spiritual domains underwritten by Quechua/Aymara and Nahua/K’ich’e cosmologies.
Bio: PJ DiPietro is Director of LGBTQ Studies and Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Syracuse University. They serve as affiliated faculty of two programs, Latino and Latin American Studies, and Native and Indigenous Studies. At FLACSO-Buenos Aires, the Latin American Graduate School of Social Sciences, they coordinate the master’s program in gender, society, and politics. They specialize in decolonial feminism, feminist and trans philosophy, and socio-political thought within Afro-Latinx, Latinx, Andean, and Mesoamerican communities. They are the author of Sideways Selves: The Decolonizing Politics of Transing Matter Across the Américas (forthcoming in 2023 with the University of Texas Press). In Sideways Selves, they examine the hemispheric connections between jotería and travesti political thought, oppositional consciousness, and body-politics. Together with Shireen Roshanravan and Jennifer McWeeny, they co-edited Speaking Face to Face: The Visionary Philosophy of María Lugones (2019). Their next co-edited volume Trans Philosophy, Meaning, and Mattering is currently under review with Oxford University Press. For this book, they work alongside Perry Zurn, Andrea Pitts, and Thalia Bettcher. DiPietro’s essays have appeared or are forthcoming in venues such as Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, Hypatia, and Transgender Studies Quarterly, among others. In 2021, the Latin American Studies Association distinguished their essay “Ni Humanos, Ni Animales, Ni Monstruos: La Colonialidad del Cuerpo Transgénero,” with the Sylvia Molloy Award for Best Article in the Humanities. With travesti activist and intellectual Marlene Wayar, they collaborate in Bitácora Travesti, an oral history project about travesti and trans* childhood and dispossession across the American continent. They are a member of the Democratizing Knowledge Collective at Syracuse University and the co-chair elect of AJAAS, the Association of Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship.