The biodrag of genre in Paul B. Preciado's Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era

Jones, Sophie A. (2018) The biodrag of genre in Paul B. Preciado's Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era. Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics, 2 (2). 19.

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    Abstract

    Paul B. Preciado's Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era (2013) is many things at once: a fictionalised account of its author-narrator's use of synthetic androgens, an alternative history of post-Fordism, and a manifesto for gender revolution. The text juxtaposes a number of disparate genres, including the fictionalized life narrative, the epistolary elegy, political theory, pornography, and the revolutionary manifesto. In this article I suggest that this aesthetic of juxtaposition figures genre as a form of drag, which I understand, in light of Elizabeth Freeman's work, as both a mode of gender performance and a way of articulating the persistence of the past in the present. In Testo Junkie, genre becomes a way of organising a central tension in the book between the hormone's history as an agent of oppression and the hormone's speculative future as an agent of liberation. The text's bifurcated form, I argue, ultimately works to compartmentalise difficult questions about the psychological legacies of racism and patriarchy, and to separate its manifesto for revolution from the histories that produce the revolutionary subject.