Holly Lewis | New Media, Biopolitics, and the Development of Transmasculine Subjectivity

Abstract

This paper will explore how female-to-male (FTM) transsexuals have created a system of internationally networked YouTube channels to counter the epistemic crises of their lived experience. Unlike male-to-female (MTF) transsexuals, transsexual boys and men in the United States are almost completely absent from cultural narratives, medical representation, and, in many cases, clear standing as legal subjects. New Media, Biopolitics, and the Development of Transmasculine Subjectivity will explore how this international FTM network has combined personal narrative and surveillance technology to develop a permanently transmissible body of knowledge within and beyond their defined circle of participants. The paper will be split into three sections:  a virtual ethnographic (netnographic) portion, a comparative historico-legal analysis; and a philosophical/theoretical section which situates the results of the previous two sections in terms of the work of a number of continental philosophers and critical/cultural/gender theorists, namely: Deleuze, Foucault, Agamben, Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, Habermas, Butler, Fausto-Sterling, Canguilhem, and Lacan.