Joyful Embodiment

Felt Theory and Indigenous Trans Perspectives in the Work of Max Wolf Valerio

  • Lisa Tatonetti Kansas State University


This essay uses Dian Million's felt theory to read across the work of one of the earliest trans Indigenous people writing in English, arguing that Max Wolf Valeriorepresents his experiences of--and others’ reactions to--his sex and gender presentations as relational, highly affective processes across all of his texts. And, while affective knowledges exist widely across Indigenous texts and contexts, I turn in this special issue to how, when used to read Valerio’s essay and autobiography, felt theory reveals embodied ruptures and cultural dislocation/disavowal, or what Million terms “colonialism as a felt, affective relationship” (Therapeutic Nations 46). At the same time, this essay highlights the ways, in Valerio’s stories, felt knowledges offer a map of becoming and a lived route to survivance, healing, and joy.

How to Cite
TatonettiL. (2021). Joyful Embodiment. Transmotion, 7(1), 10-39.