Blackness, Animality, and the Unsovereign

A blog post featured on Verso Books: Black radical imaginings of abolition as a relation provide a way to think about how the caging and mass killing of animal life, the caging and mass killing of Black life, and the racial capitalism that propels premature death are connected in a deadlock.


Publications, Awards & Lectures

Recent work

Fellowships & Awards

2o22 College Art Association Award — co-recipient with David Getsy

2022-2023 Visiting Scholar, Centre for Life-Writing, Wolfson College, Oxford University

2017-19 NYC Queer Art Mentor

2014-15 Martin Duberman Visiting Scholar, New York Public Library 

2014 Sylvia Rivera Transgender Studies Award, Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies, City University of New York 

2014 Schlesinger Library Grant, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University 

2014 The Gloria E. Anzaldúa Award for Independent Scholars, American Studies Association

Edited Journal issues 

Guest editor with Eva Hayward of Trans Studies Quarterly Special Issue: “Trans in a Time of HIV/AIDS” November, 2020

Articles and Book Chapters

Gossett, C. and Getsy, David, “A Syllabus on Trans and Nonbinary Methods for Art History,” commissioned by Art Journal Summer, 2021

Gossett, C. “‘Abolitionist Alternatives” Cabinet Magazine issue edited by Professor Joshua Bennett, December 15, 2020.

Hayward, Eva, and Che Gossett. “Impossibility of that.” in Tranimacies: Intimate Links Between Animal and Trans* pp. 15-24. Routledge, 2020.

Gossett, C.  (2018) Blackness, Animality and the Unsovereign. In Risa Puleo. Walls Turned Sideways: Artists Confront the Justice System, pp. 56-63, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 2018.

Gossett, C. (2017) Blackness and the Trouble of Trans Visibility. In Tourmaline, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton, eds. Trap door: Trans cultural production and the politics of visibility, pp. 183-189. New Museum, 2017.

Gossett, C. (2014) We Will Not Rest in Peace: AIDS Activism, Black radicalism, queer and/or trans resistance. In Haritaworn, Jin, Adi Kuntsman, and Silvia Posocco, eds. Queer necropolitics, pp. 31-50. Routledge, 2014.

Gossett, C. (2013) Silhouettes of Defiance: Memorializing Sites of Queer and Trans Resistance In A Time of Neoliberal Inclusivity. In Aizura, Aren Z., and Susan Stryker, eds. The Transgender Studies Reader 2, pp. 580-590, Routledge, 2013.

Gossett, C. and Huxtable, J. (2017). Existing in the World: Blackness at the Edge of Trans Visibility. In Tourmaline, Eric A. Stanley, and Johanna Burton. Trap door: Trans cultural production and the politics of visibility, pp. 39-56, New Museum, 2017.

Gossett, C., Rodriguez, R., Ware, Marcus S. (2018). ‘Our Study Is Sabotage’: Queering Urban Justice, from Toronto to New York, A Roundtable. In Haritaworn, Jinthana, Ghaida Moussa, and Syrus Marcus Ware, eds. Queering Urban Justice: Queer of Colour Formations in Toronto, pp. 29-44, University of Toronto Press, 2018.

Gossett, C. Mitchell, N., Stanley, E., Ben-Moshe L. (2015). Critical Theory, Queer Resistance, and the Ends of Capture. In with Nick Mitchell, Eric A. Stanley, Liat Ben-Moshe in Death and Other Penalties: Continental Philosophers on Prisons and Capital Punishment edited by Geoffrey Adelsberg and Lisa Guenther, pp. 266-297, Fordham University Press, 2015. 

Gossett, C., Tourmaline, Lewis, AJ. (2012). Reclaiming Our Lineage: Organized Queer, Gender-Nonconforming, and Transgender Resistance to Police Violence. In A New Queer Agenda, edited by Joseph DeFilippis, Lisa Duggan, Kenyon Farrow and Richard Kim, S&F Online Barnard Center for Research on Women, published May 2012.

Gossett, C., Tourmaline, Rodriguez, D., Brown, B. (2011). Abolitionist Imaginings: Interview with Bo Brown, Tourmaline and Dylan Rodriguez. In Stanley, Eric A., and Nat Smith. Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex, pp. 323-342, AK Press, 2011.

Exhibits and Projects:

“The Revolution is Not a One Time Event” (August, 2020) programme on abolitionist poetics, aesthetics and technologies organized by myself, Sarah Shin and Lola Olufemi of Silver Press (London, UK) and sponsored by Arika (Glasgow, Scotland). The series features professors Saidiya Hartman, Christina Sharpe, Hortense Spillers, Gail Lewis, Akwugo Emejulu, Nydia Swaby and activists, poets and artists Miss Major, Canisia Lubin, Zoe Samudzi, Nat Raha,, Tourmaline, adrienne maree brown, American Artist, Legacy Russell, Juliana Huxtable, and Danielle Braithwate-Shirely.

Text (September, 2019) Don’t Touch Me: Acts of Faith curated by Precious Okoyomon & Quinn Harrelson at the Robert Grunenberg Gallery in Berlin, Germany.

Video interview (June, 2019) The Prince of Homburg, curated by Patrick Staff.  Exhibition on view at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Dundee, Scotland as well as at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in Dublin, Ireland.  

Text (July, 2019) collaboration with trans visual artist Ser Serpas for On the Backlot curated by Quinn Goldsmith Harrelson and Ser Serpas at Balice Hertling Gallery in Paris, France.

Lectures and Panels:

Guest Lecturer (August, 2020) Professor Trica Keaton’s course “Cinema of Protest,” Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 

Panelist (August, 2020), “Converging Pandemics: Black Life in a State of Emergency” with Ruha Benjamin and Esther Amrah, moderated by Joshua Bennett and Monica W. Ndounou, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 

Panelist (April, 2019), “Hiving: Living Forms, Forms of Living,” with Barbara Browning, Fred Moten, Elizabeth Povinelli, Georgia Sagri, André Lepecki and Michael Thiele, organized by Sarah Richter, NYU Tisch School for the Arts, NY

Lecture (March, 2019) “Abolitionist Intimacy: Black Trans Study and Black Radical Tradition” sponsored by the Office of LGBT Affairs and Transgender Studies Initiative, University of Arizona Tucson, AZ

Lecture (March, 2019) “Abolitionist Entanglement: Blackness and Palestinian Solidarity” Vassar College, NY

Panelist (March, 2019) “Art and Feminism”, with Alok Vaid-Menon and Simone Browne, moderated by Assistant Curator of Media and Performance, Danielle A. Jackson, Museum of Modern Art, NY 

Keynote (October, 2018) Thinking Trans conference on trans philosophy, with other keynotes Mel Chen and Eli Claire, American University, Washington DC

Panelist (January, 2018) Jack Halberstam’s Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance Book Talk and Panel Discussion, with Janet Jakobsen, Jack Halberstam, Kate Bornstein and moderated by Gil Hochberg

Keynote (July, 2016) Desiree Alliance Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana

Paper (May, 2016) ‘My Dungeon Shook’ James Baldwin’s Prison Abolitionist Politics of Black Liberation and Palestinian Solidarity” James Baldwin Conference, American University of Paris

Lecture (May, 2016) “Entanglement: Racial Capitalism, Animality and Abolition” What Time Is It on the Clock of the World*:  International Festival on Feminism and Public Space, Stadtkurator in Hamburg, Germany

Panelist (May, 2015) Speculative Planning Session, with Denise Ferreira da Silva and Rizvana Bradley, convened and moderated by Constantina Zavitsanos, New Museum, NY

Panelist (October, 2014) Bodies in Public, performance studies conference, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

Panelist (November, 2014) “Settler Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism” panel, with Andrea Smith, Tiffany Lethabo King, Maile Arvin, moderated by Sora Han, American Studies Association conference

Speaker, Panelist and Community Assistant Rapporteur (July, 2014) International AIDS Conference, Melbourne, Australia

Reading (April, 2014), “Jimmy at High Noon,” James Baldwin New York Live Arts Festival, with Imani Uzuri, Vijay Iver, Rich Blint and Aisha Karefa Smart

Lecture, (April, 2014) “Pinkwashing Israeli Occupation and Apartheid”, Temple University Students for Justice in Palestine, Temple University

Respondent (April, 2014) Redefining Realness Salon in Honor of Janet Mock, with co-panelists Professor Brittney Cooper, Janet Mock, CeCe McDonald and moderated by Tourmaline, at the Barnard Center for Research on Women

Lecture (March, 2014) “Media Activism: Mobilizing for Racial, Sexual and Gender Justice” Temple University School of Media and Communications in collaboration with Philadelphia Queer Media Series

Panelist (March, 2014) “Boycott! The Art of Economic Activism” American Friends Service Center, Philadelphia, PA

Plenary Speaker (February, 2013) “The Legacy of Transgender Community Advocacy in Pennsylvania” Pennsylvania Youth Action Conference, moderated by Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality

Panelist (January, 2014) “Queering Urban Justice” moderated by Jin Haritaworn, York University, Toronto, Canada

Presenter (February, 2014) IVYQ Conference, Princeton University, Princeton NJ

Panelist (November, 2013) “Prison Abolition and the Queer Commons” panelist, moderated by Dean Spade with Ralowe Ampu, Pooja Gehi, Treva Ellison, Eric A. Stanley, Eli Vitulli and Darby Hickey at the American Studies Association Conference

Panelist, (October, 2013) “Direct Action, the Arts of Social Movements and Media Impact”  University of Pennsylvania Law School

Panelist, (October, 2013) “AIDS Activism and Contemporary Struggle” at the Queer Dreams and Non Profit Blues Conference, organized by Dean Spade and Urvashi Vaid, Columbia University Law School

“Two Transcriptions” (May, 2013) A Conversation with Doug Barrett, Che Gossett, Theo Baer and Benjamin Piekut, Incubator Arts Project, NYC

Panelist, (April 2013) “Life Chances: HIV Criminalization and Trans Politics In Conversation with Che Gossett, Dean Spade, Mitchyll Mora, and Sean Strub, moderated by Laverne Cox and hosted by Visual AIDS at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, NYC

Workshop, (February, 2013) “Captive Genders: Teach-In on Abolitionist Imaginings and Transgender Activism” with Reina Gossett of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, organized by Jeanne Vacarro University of Pennsylvania

Panelist, (November, 2012) “HIV/AIDS Access Without Oppression” Yale University Trans and Gender Non Conforming Awareness Week Winter 2012, covered in “Broad Recognition,” Feminist Journal at Yale University, 2012

Panelist, (December, 2012) Untitled AIDS activist documentary screening at the IFC Center in New York City, sponsored by Visual AIDS and Creative Time, with Malik Gaines, Shanti Arivgan and moderated by Nato Thompson

Lecture, (June, 2010) Kiyoshi Kuromiya and Queer Liberation, given at Movements for Change: An Event in Honor of Kiyoshi Kuromiya, Philadelphia FIGHT, Thursday June 10th, 2010

Panelist, (November, 2009) “Kiyoshi Kuromiya and the Legacy of Queer and Transgender Anti Prison Activism” paper delivered at the Angela Davis: Legacies in the Making conference, University of California, Santa Cruz