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Rahil Roodsaz

As a minority group with an Islamic background the Iranian Dutch are known as ‘well-integrated’ citizens, based on their educational and occupational position in society. By taking a liberal stance on homosexuality, premarital sex and non-marital cohabitation, three currently contested topics in Dutch public debates on multiculturalism, a considerable number of them claims a ‘modern’ attitude. This chapter considers a network of young Iranian Dutch who reject what they view as restrictive sexual norms imposed by the rest of the community and instead choose to fashion an ideal queer self. According to an Iranian Dutch dominant modernity discourse, romantic premarital sexual encounters, biologically-determined homosexuality and long-term committed non-marital cohabitation are acceptable. However, this young and highly educated group appropriates an alternative approach. Decoupling sex from romance, engaging in same-sex practices while rejecting homosexuality as an identity category and perceiving cohabitation as a potential form of sexual limitation, enables this group to negotiate with norms of intimacy. Analysing the deployment of sexuality as practices of self-fashioning based on ethnographic data gathered between 2010 and 2013, this chapter illustrates how cultural boundary-crossing in this context is at times accompanied by normative articulations of gender. It questions the predominantly celebrative interpretation of the at-the-cutting-edge configurations of the intimate life and argues for an analytical framework that seeks to unravel socio-cultural embeddedness of notions of transgression. Furthermore, it contributes to the range of studied transgressive practices of intimacy at the start of the 21st century in which diasporic accounts are rather scarce.


Chris Bell

This chapter discusses an episode that occurred while I was in graduate school. A fellow graduate student, Billy Vance, died of AIDS. The community at my graduate institution did little to acknowledge Billy’s passing. That silence, intentional or not, had an awakening effect on me as I began to call into question the purpose and efficacy of referring to ourselves as a “community.” Finding my idea(l)s about the constitutive nature of community at odds with the mindset of others, I eventually left that setting without completing graduate work.

I frame my discussion through the lens of James Baldwin’s essay The Evidence of Things Not Seen. Towards the conclusion of his work, Baldwin offers an anecdote about a friend of his, Buddy, who died of tuberculosis. Baldwin’s community, the community of the church, abandoned Buddy during his hour of need just as my community in graduate school abandoned Billy. This action led to Baldwin, a preacher’s son, leaving the church, wilfully becoming a transgressor. By unpacking Baldwin’s assertion that “the way of the transgressor is hard,” I show how the transgressor is vitally important in illuminating the wicked, if not evil, actions of the “community” in moments of suffering and/or dying.

Transgressive Transcripts

Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Chinese Canadian Women’s Writing


Bennett Yu-Hsiang Fu

Transgressive Transcripts examines the construction of women’s subjectivity and the textual production of Canadian female voices orchestrated in history, culture, ethnicity, and sexuality. The book, stressing the dissemination and re-inscription of femaleness and femininity in Chinese Canadian history, employs critical models that defy the sexual/textual imaginary of the Canadian literary scene. Four fields of study are conjoined: feminist theories of the body, gender and sexuality studies, women’s writing, and Asian North Amer¬ican studies. Analysing four writers, SKY Lee, Larissa Lai, Lydia Kwa, and Evelyn Lau, the book anchors its thematic and theoretical concern with female sexuality in the context of Chinese Canadian writing. Feminist narratives and gender politics in contemporary Asian North American literature are highlighted via the trope of ‘transgression’.

Writing as Sacrilege and Necessity

The Poetics of ‘Mučenice’ (2013) by Želimir Periš

Slobodanka Vladiv-Glover

, to use it as an instrument of representing the contemporary world in all its hidden capacities for good and evil. Thus Periš’ book draws on the tradition of sacrilegious and transgressive rewriting of classical texts, such as the Bible, or the creative reimagining of the lives of famous people (the

Talmudic Transgressions

Engaging the Work of Daniel Boyarin


Edited by Charlotte Fonrobert, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Aharon Shemesh and Moulie Vidas

Talmudic Transgressions is a collection of essays on rabbinic literature and related fields in response to the boundary-pushing scholarship of Daniel Boyarin. This work is an attempt to transgress boundaries in various ways, since boundaries differentiate social identities, literary genres, legal practices, or diasporas and homelands. These essays locate the transgressive not outside the classical traditions but in these traditions themselves, having learned from Boyarin that it is often within the tradition and in its terms that we can find challenges to accepted notions of knowledge, text, and ethnic or gender identity. The sections of this volume attempt to mirror this diverse set of topics.

Contributors include Julia Watts Belser, Jonathan Boyarin, Shamma Boyarin, Virginia Burrus, Sergey Dolgopolski, Charlotte E. Fonrobert, Simon Goldhill, Erich S. Gruen, Galit Hasan-Rokem, Christine Hayes, Adi Ophir, James Redfield, Elchanan Reiner, Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Lena Salaymeh, Zvi Septimus, Aharon Shemesh, Dina Stein, Eliyahu Stern, Moulie Vidas, Barry Scott Wimpfheimer, Elliot R. Wolfson, Azzan Yadin-Israel, Israel Yuval, and Froma Zeitlin.

Transgressing Boundaries

Gender, Identity, Culture, and the ‘Other’ in Postcolonial Women’s Narratives in East Africa


Elizabeth F. Oldfield

Fictions written between 1939 and 2005 by indigenous and white (post)colonial women writers emerging from an African–European cultural experience form the focus of this study. Their voyages into the European diasporic space in Africa are important for conveying how African women’s literature is situated in relation to colonialism. Notwithstanding the centrality of African literature in the new postcolonial literatures in English, the accomplishments of the indigenous writer Grace Ogot have been eclipsed by the critical attention given to her male counterparts, while Elspeth Huxley, Barbara Kimenye, and Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye, who are of Western cultural provenance but adopt an African perspective, are not accommodated by the genre of ‘expatriate literature’. The present study of both indigenous and white (post)colonial women’s narratives that are common to both categories fills this gap. Focused on the representation of gender, identity, culture, and the ‘Other’, the texts selected are set in Kenya and Uganda, and a main concern is with the extent to which they are influenced by setting and intercultural influences. The ‘African’ woman’s creation of textuality is at once the expression of female individualities and a transgression of boundaries. The particular category of fiction for children as written by Kimenye and Macgoye reveals the configuration of a voice and identity for the female ‘Other’ and writer which enables a subversive renegotiation of identity in the face of patriarchal traditions.


Torsten Caeners

complexity. The complexity and diversity of the urban space of Caprica City implies dynamic processes of change and transformation at work. Thematically, diegetically and visually, the series negotiates processes of transgressive transformations between different modes of urban reality. It foregrounds said

Transgressing Boundaries

Social Reform, Theology, and the Demarcations between Science and Religion

Julian Strube

-century discourses that exerted a decisive influence up to the present day. “Esotericism,” as it emerged in that period, played a central role in that process. This can only be understood by a transgression of established disciplinary and geographical boundaries that promises not only a better understanding of the

Richard Taft

269 Transgressions Charles Scott. Boundaries in Mind: A Study of Immediate Awareness Based on Psychotherapy. Crossroads Publishing Co., 1982, 160 pp. Charles Scott's new book Boundaries in Mind is a fascinating if at times frustrating book. It challenges and provokes the reader at every turn

John D. Caputo

Three Transgressions: Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida JOHN D. CAPUTO Villanova University Nietzsche, Heidegger and Derrida: these are not merely the names of three authors, but of three matters for thought, of three ways beyond metaphysics, three transgressions. I want to offer here a reflection