Trans-in-Asia, Asia-in-Trans

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 
Trans-in-Asia, Asia-in-Trans

Special Issue Editors:
Howard H. Chiang, Todd A. Henry, Helen Hok-Sze Leung

Since the late twentieth century, scholars and activists have begun to take stock of the deep histories and politically engaged nature of trans* cultures across the diverse societies of “Asia.” Much of this groundbreaking work has cautioned against immediate assumptions about the universality of transgender experiences, while heeding the significant influence of colonial histories, cultural imperialism, Cold War dynamics, economic integration, and migration practices in shaping local categories of queerness, discourses of rights, as well as the political, social, and medical management of gender variance and non-normative sexualities. This growing body of work on Asia joins trans* scholarship and activism across the world that has similarly sought to de-universalize and de-colonize the category of “trans.” To this end, critics have begun to illuminate the historical, linguistic, and cultural complexities of gendered selfhoods, embodiments, and practices in glocalized contexts. At the same time, critiques of “area studies” continue to interrogate “Asia” as a geopolitical formation, an economic discourse, a regional imaginary, and an institutionalized object of study. In particular, critical frameworks of “inter-Asia” and, more recently, “trans-Asia” and “transpacific” have aimed to deconstruct Asia as area by examining the permeability, flows, and circulations across its myriad borders and in relation to other culture-areas.  Building on such intellectual trends, this special issue on “Trans-in-Asia, Asia-in-Trans” explores how trans* scholarship and activism from and on Asia can further challenge dominant Western-centered paradigms of LGBT knowledge. It also interrogates how nuanced studies of gender variance and non-normative sexualities in and from Asia can transform our understanding of this region as a powerful ideological construct.

We invite submissions on but not limited to the following issues:

  • How have flows of migration from, to, and within Asia impacted trans* subjectivities, practices, and communities?
  • How have new and old media facilitated the emergence of gender communities and trans* practices that are grounded in or connected to Asia?
  • How does the globalization of LGBT identities relate to representations and practices of gender variance and non-normative sexualities in Asia?
  • In what ways do critical perspectives on trans* Asia yield new theoretical positions that exceed the privileged position of the West?
  • How can we use the excavation of untapped archival and visual sources as well as the production of other “subjugated knowledges” (e.g., oral histories) to produce new outlooks on the histories and cultures of trans* Asia?
  • How can trans* Asian perspectives help us to re-evaluate the relationship between embodiment, technology, and biomedical science?

In addition to full-length articles (5000 words), we also seek to publish shorter pieces (1000-2500 words) to represent the diversity of practices and problematics, and welcome original research articles as well as theory, reports, manifestos, opinion pieces, reviews, and creative/artistic productions rooted in the themes and goal of the issue. Please send complete submissions by June 1, 2017. To submit a manuscript, please visit If this is your first time using Editorial Manager, please register first, then proceed with submitting your manuscript. Address any queries to All manuscripts must be double-spaced, including quotations and endnotes, and blinded throughout. You must also submit an abstract (150 words or less), keywords (3-5 for indexing), and a brief author's biographical note (50 words or less) at the time of initial submission. Please visit for a detailed style guide.

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly is co-edited by Paisley Currah and Susan Stryker, and published by Duke University Press, with editorial offices at the University of Arizona’s Institute for LGBT Studies. TSQ aims to be the journal of record for the interdisciplinary field of transgender studies and to promote the widest possible range of perspectives on transgender phenomena broadly defined. Every issue of TSQ is a specially themed issue that also contains regularly recurring features such as reviews, interviews, and opinion pieces. To learn more about the journal and see calls for papers for other issues, visit our site. For info about subscriptions, visit