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All ages and none: commentary on Helene Moglen’s Ageing and Trans-Ageing

Segal, Lynne (2008) All ages and none: commentary on Helene Moglen’s Ageing and Trans-Ageing. Gender & Sexuality 9 (4), pp. 312-322. ISSN 1524-0657.

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Helene Moglen's article is especially welcome, given the paucity of psychoanalytic reflection on ageing. She usefully describes possible ways of managing the losses of ageing through accessing the multiple, decentered self-states embedded in our personal histories. However, I have some queries on her use of contrasting psychic topologies. In particular I wonder whether she is sometimes in danger of seeing images of former selves as being associatively "recovered" in the work of mourning that might be better seen as the more illusive "production" of presumptively anterior contexts and states of mind in the present. I also question how successfully Moglen's positioning of her notion of "transaging" somewhere between "transgender" and "transsexuality" serves to loosen up the vicious binary between "young" and "old". I would appreciate closer attention to the dreaded "feminization" of old age, noting the toxic sexism permeating cultures of ageing. Nevertheless, Moglen offers an excellent opening into this troubling topic.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Lynne Segal’s complete profile and publication history can be viewed at
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Psychosocial Studies
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2010 10:59
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:19

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