Projeto de Tese de Doutoramento

Euphoric feelings, 'dysphoric' bodies: transgressive tracks for an intersectional reading of transgender and disability studies

Orientação: Zowie Davy, Fernando Fontes e Gracia Trujillo Barbadillo

Programa de Doutoramento: Human Rights in Contemporary Societies

This PhD research project intends to explore the relationship between disability studies and transgender studies by studying the intersections of body and self-constructs as related to lived experiences, social representations and the struggles to raise awareness of new political subjectivities and belongings. The project asks how and in what ways the public consternation within a variety of non-institutional collective forms of associativism helps to shape (and is influenced by) a wide range of discourses about trans disabled people - discourses that aspire to create and (re)invent a metaphoric 'trans-disabled subject', in order to characterize, through language and narrative, the visibility, marginalization and stigmatization of the trans-disabled subject. This research project began with my perception of the increasing visibility of new forms of associativism that has contributed to the diversification of social movements, and its relation to the meaningful transformation of disability narratives and trans discourses from trans and disabled people. The focus of my project will be on trans* people - transgender, transsexual, and non-binary - with physical or sensorial disability - functional disadvantage, limitation or restriction caused by physical or sensorial impairment.

The main goal of the project is to inquire about the ways that disabled trans people understand their own identities and how they relate to different sources of power that attempt to define them within already acknowledged systems of visibility and recognition.

The aim of this research is to contribute to the debate about how public collective expressions and protests interact with the arguments about normative bodies and pathologizing processes. The project points to the omission in the literature in relation to how trans disabled people generate spaces for visibility, recognition and political demands. On the one hand, different forms of social movements have created strategies for integration politics, and on the other hand, there still remain challenges for inclusion regarding trans disabled bodies within the physical spaces and within collective struggles. In this context, lies the interest in understanding trans and disabled people embodiment in relation to politics.

The research will look to Madrid (where, in the course of the occupy movement context, were provided more integrated form of politics) to see how trans disabled people are contesting models of being disabled and challenging the ideas surrounding normative bodies. While acknowledging that this form of politics has been researched before, the voices of trans disabled people with regards to public protests' sites are still invisible in the literature and undervalued in political praxis. This project will focus in meetings with trans people who have physical or sensory impairments, who cannot be part of developing political strategies and are now doing politics in other ways, in order to make visible the trans disabled bodies.