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TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault
An Unreasonable Body of Work
Now Available
Price £27, $36
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ISBN 9781841505718
Paperback 272 pages
Published April 2012
Imprint: Intellect
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Edited by Judith Rudakoff
Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

Transgendered playwright-performer, columnist, and sex worker Nina Arsenault has undergone more than sixty plastic surgeries in pursuit of a feminine beauty ideal. In TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault, Judith Rudakoff brings together a diverse group of contributors, including artists, scholars, and Arsenault herself to offer an exploration of beauty, image, and the notion of queerness through the lens of Arsenault’s highly personal brand of performance art.
Illustrated with photographs of the artist’s transformation over the years and demonstrating her diversity of personae, this volume contributes to a deepening of our understanding of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be beautiful. Also included in this volume is the full script of Arsenault’s critically acclaimed stage play, The Silicone Diaries.

To download a pdf of the review in Theatre Research in Canada click here

To download a pdf of the review in Contemporary Theatre Review click here

Chapter titles
Judith Rudakoff
Part I: The Texts
Chapter 1: Affirming Identity with Your Friendly Neighbourhood Cyborg
Sky Gilbert
Chapter 2: Unreal Beauty: Identification and Embodiment in Nina Arsenault’s “Self-Portraits”
J. Paul Halferty
Chapter 3: Daughter of the Air: Three Acting Sessions and Nina Arsenault’s Imaginary Body
Cynthia Ashperger
Chapter 4: Nina, Amber and the Evolution of a Commodified Sexual Being
Todd Klinck
Chapter 5: Sexed Life is a Cabaret: The Body Politics of Nina Arsenault’s The Silicone Diaries
Frances J. Latchford
Chapter 6: Chopping at the Sexy Bits: [Trans]cending the Body with Surgical Conundrums
J Mase III
Chapter 7: Nina Arsenault: Fast Feminist Objet a
Shannon Bell
Chapter 8: T he Artist as Complication: Nina Arsenault and the Morality of Beauty
Alistair Newton
Chapter 9: Landscape with Yukon and Unnatural Beauty
Nina Arsenault
Chapter 10: Performing the Prosthetics of Femininity: Nina Arsenault’s Transsexual Body as a Living Art Object
Benjamin Gillespie
Chapter 11: Compelling Honesty: Searching for Authenticity in the Voice of Nina Arsenault
Eric Armstrong
Chapter 12: Live in Your Blood: A Fragmentary Response to Nina Arsenault’s Holy Theatre and Spiritual Gift
Shimon Levy
Chapter 13: St. Nina and the Abstract Machine: Aesthetics, Ontology, Immanence
David Fancy
Director’s Note
Brendan Healy
The Silicone Diaries
Nina Arsenault
Part III: The Photographs
Image Credits
'A well-executed book that does justice to Arsenault’s unreal reality as a woman, performer, and shameless worshipper of beauty.' – Zaren Healey White for Theatre Research in Canada

'The documentation and discussions provided will be of interest to scholars and students in theatre and performance studies, women’s and LGBT studies, and visual studies, and should provoke new ways of thinking about the body, technologies of gender, and autobiography in performance.' – Contemporary Theatre Review, Dominic Johnson

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