A Body of One's Own author features on podcast and publishes articles ahead of SSP book launch

Upon publication of his new book, "A Body of One's Own: A Trans History of Argentina", author Dr Patricio Simonetto has been speaking with the New Books Network podcast.

Front cover of "A Body of One's Own: A Trans History of Argentina" by Patricio Simonetto. All text is written in white on a pink and blue photographic background.As a trans history of Argentina, A Body of One’s Own (University of Texas Press, 2024) places the histories of trans bodies at the core of modern Argentinian history. Patricio Simonetto documents the lives of people who crossed the boundaries of gender from the early twentieth century to the present.

Based on extensive archival research in public and community-based archives, this book explores the mainstream medical and media portrayals of trans or travesti people, the state policing of gender embodiment, the experiences of those transgressing the boundaries of gender, and the development of homemade technologies from prosthetics to the self-injection of silicone. 

A Body of One's Own explores how trans activists' challenges to the exclusionary effects of Argentina’s legal, cultural, social, and political cisgender order led to the passage of the Gender Identity Law in 2012. Analyzing the decisive yet overlooked impact of gender transformation in the formation of the nation-state, gender-belonging, and citizenship, this book ultimately shows that supposedly abstract struggles to define the shifting notions of ‘sex’, citizenship, and nationhood are embodied material experiences.

A special in-person book launch event and discussion, to celebrate the publication of A Body of One’s Own, will be held on campus as part of our School Research Seminar Series on Wednesday 14 February, 12:30 – 13:45. Please visit our event listings for full details of this event.

In a January episode (52 minutes) of the New Books Network podcast, Dr Simonetto has an in-depth conversation with Dr Miranda Melcher (Kings College London) discussing the book and his research.

Dr Simonetto has also authored a journal article, “Arturo’s (After) Lives – Gender Transgression in the Argentine Archives”, about Arturo de Aragónin, whose photographs he came across at Argentina’s national archives (AGN) whilst doing research for A Body of One’s Own. The article, illustrated by four photographs from the early 20th century (all from the AGN collection), is available to read open access, published in the online magazine ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America

Dr Simonetto is a Lecturer in Gender and Social Policy here at the School of Sociology and Social Policy and is the current Director of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies. His research spans queer and trans histories of Latin America, engaging with questions about how sexuality intersects with health, science, and social movements. Another article, co-authored with Thomas Shalloe, was published in Latin American Perspectives in July 2023: “Uprising on the Dance Floor: New Chilean Pop and Protest in Postdictatorship Chile”.

On 4 April 2024, Dr Simonetto will deliver a keynote on “A History Without Binaries? Queer and Trans Histories of Gender Transgression in Argentina” at the Cycle de conférences « La construction du genre, au-delà de la binarité », organised by the Paris-based Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO).