Atmospheres of Violence

This week's review examines how violence against trans/queer people of color is "built into the structure of American society."

Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/queer Ungovernable

Stanley, Eric A. Duke, 2021
200p bibl index, 9781478013303 $94.95, 9781478014218 $24.95, 9781478021520 $24.95

Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/queer Ungovernable book cover. Black background with purple text. Center image of a body of water with gravestones.

Although many strides have been made in the battle for LGBTQ+ rights, violence against transgender/queer people still remains a mostly quiet epidemic that disproportionately effects trans/queer people of color. In this text, Stanley (Univ. of California, Berkeley) argues that these are not instances of personal phobia; rather, they are built into the structure of American society. Through a lens of anti-colonialism attributed to Franz Fanon, the author seeks to explain intersectional racial and gendered violence as a systemic issue in which increased visibility is a two-edged sword: on one side, rights are being extended; on the other, trans/queer people of color become exposed to greater systems of violence. Through historical narratives that include everything from interviews with those in the prison system to the suicide note of a lost teen, this text looks to serve as both a memory of oppression and a method for rising above. Often challenging to read in its honest, sometimes brutal retelling of violent incidents; in its discussion of suicide; and in how it speaks to a pervasive anti-Blackness and anti-trans/queerness, this text is a must read for those interested in dismantling systems of oppression and in trans/queer liberation.

Summing Up: Essential. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
A. N. Weiss, Loyola Marymount University
Interdisciplinary Subjects: African and African American Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Studies, Racial Justice
Subject: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Choice Issue: Jul 2022

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