Aren Z. Aizura is assistant professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. He received his Ph.D. in Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne in 2009. From 2009-11 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Gender Studies at Indiana University, and from 2011-13 he was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Research on Women/Department of Women and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Aizura is the co-editor of the Transgender Studies Reader 2, which was published by Routledge in 2013 and was awarded the 2013 Ruth Benedict Book Prize by the Association of Queer Anthropology. His work has appeared in the journals Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Medical Anthropology, Asian Studies Review, and the books Transgender Migrations, Trans Feminist Perspectives in and Across Transgender and Gender Studies, and Queer Bangkok. He is a member of the Editorial Board of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly.
Aizura’s research focus is interdisciplinary and looks at how queer and transgender bodies shape and are shaped by technologies of race, gender, transnationality, medicalization and political economy—particularly how geographical location and histories of colonialism have fostered or subtended different gender variant and queer subjectivities. He studies gender reassignment surgery tourism in Thailand and elsewhere; trans and queer migration, especially queer/trans involvement in transnational economies of care work; and looks at the circuitry of nationalism, biopolitics and value as they relate to gender variant life. Currently he’s finishing an essay on the film Paper Dolls, about a troupe of Filipina drag queens who worked as elder-care workers in Israel in the mid-2000s.
Aizura’s current book, Mobile Subjects: transnational imaginaries of gender reassignment, is in progress. Mobile Subjects is about the idea of mobility as a central organizing metaphor for Euro-American understandings of transsexuality, mapped onto the colonial and imperial travel politics of modernity, neoliberal configurations of self-mobilizing and self-transforming subjectivities, and political and geographical economies governing the availability of healthcare. I’m also working on two new research projects. The first project is about the intersections between transnational circuits of reproductive labor, immigration, and queer and trans theory. The second project investigates the transnational circulation of new terminologies to describe gender variant and gender nonconforming people, particularly within global human rights discourse, non-governmental aid, and public health.