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Essayisms Reading Group: Queer Kinship and Collective Essay Writing

Monday 10 May 2021, 5.00PM

Please join us at the next instalment of Essayisms to discuss queer kinship and collective essay writing. This session will focus on two single-authored essays by queer writers, which nevertheless prioritise collective forms of being, and of writing. Syntactically obscure and freewheeling in its frame of reference, Hilton Als articulates a mode of black queer kinship—a “twinship”—that bears no linguistic precedent. Michelle Tea’s essay “Transmissions from Camp Trans” skirts the genre of oral history through her inclusion of scripted dialogue and through the deferral of her authorial voice to other attendants. In a deceptively accessible style, Tea provides an insight into the “protest camp” set up to counter, and with the hopes of changing, the transphobic policies of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival.
Readings available via Essayisms Google Drive:
  • “Tristes Tropiques”by Hilton Als from White Girls (2014)—this is a long (if sublime!) essay; if time-pressed, please focus on the opening section (pp11–46)
  • “Transmissions from Camp Trans” by Michelle Tea from Against Memoir (2018)
If you do not have an institutional York account, please contact Ella at for access to the Google Drive, or for any other queries.
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Register here in advance.

Location: Online via Zoom