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Cavanagh, S.L. (2018). Transgender Embodiment: A Lacanian Approach. Psychoanal. Rev., 105(3):303-327.

(2018). Psychoanalytic Review, 105(3):303-327

Transgender Embodiment: A Lacanian Approach

Sheila L. Cavanagh, Ph.D.

The author uses Lacanian psychoanalysis to conceptualize transgender embodiment, focusing on the Lacanian concept “objet a” to analyze how transpeople may be uniquely attuned to a fundamental lack in being endemic to all subjects of language. Objet a is central to the Imaginary register where body images and sex morphology intermingle. The author discusses objet a in relation to the mirror (and the Other's cisgender gaze), anxiety, postsurgical scars, linguistics, and Thing-like feelings of monstrosity (born of transphobia). For those who are transgender, the a may register as an embodied disjunction between gender identity and natal sex assignment.

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