“The Romance of the Amazing Scapel”-Discussion Q’s

The Romance of the Amazing Scapel: “Race”, Labor, and Affect in Thai Gender Reassignment Clinics”

by: Aren Z. Aizura

Here are a few discussion questions that you can think about while reading Aizura’s work:

1) How do certain theories, (such as orientalism, self-orientalism, affective labor, Euro-American theorizations), argue for the unequal care of trans or gender-varient patients from their GRS (gender reassignment surgery) experiences? How does it affect racial politics and transnationalism, (such as comfort vs. discomfort care towards foreign and non-foregin trans/gender-varient persons)?

2) How does Aizura discuss Thailand as a space for transformation and medical tourism, especially pertaining to GRS service and technologies? (p. 499, 502)

3) How can physical motility “[become] the grounds for social mobility”, as mentioned by Sara Ahmed? (Also, may discuss physical motility and social motility in relation to “space”, “whiteness”, “comfort” vs “discomfort” care). (p. 497)

4) Explain the terms “kathoey” and “toms”. How are these terms understood within the medical, psychological discourses? And how are these terms defined within the Thai culture as explained by Aizura? (p. 500-501)


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