Claude Kempen is a trans nonbinary writer and academic from Berlin. They hold a BA in Islamic Studies and an MA in Gender Studies. Before starting their PhD, they explored anti-Muslim racism in pornography, queer movements in Jordan, and encountering medical gatekeeping and death as a trans person.
“I Myself Don’t Have Many Words”: Nonbinary Life-Writing or a Theory of the Nonbinary Through Confusion, Discomfort and Affective Imaginaries
This PhD attempts to theorize nonbinary gender through a close reading of around 20 memoirs, authored and published by nonbinary people since 2017. It is interested in learning how gender influences nonbinary peoples’ relations to their environment and asks how they make sense of their gender, while looking at the kind of language(s) and imagination(s) they draw on to do so. Following Jay Prosser in reading “transsexuality through narrative”, a close reading of the publications will consider affect, gender, and relationality, in the hope of detecting the common threads that shape nonbinary gender today.