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Marquis Bey

Professor of Black Studies

Ph.D. in English, Cornell University, 2019
B.A. in English, American Studies and Philosophy, Lebanon Valley College, 2014

Research Interests:

Black Feminist Theory
Trans and Nonbinary Studies
Critical Theory


Marquis Bey’s work focuses on thinking blackness not as racial identification but as “paraontological,” and utilizes this understanding to recalibrate how we might move through questions of nonnormative subjectivity—via race, gender, and personhood. Through black feminist theory, trans and nonbinary studies, and abolitionist theory, Bey articulates  a project of black trans feminism that is not beholden to a veneration of particular subjects but rather an assertion of the dismantling of the normative constraints that define the world—white supremacy, cisnormativity, and heteropatriarchy as well as the categories of race and gender themselves. 

Bey is the author, most recently, of Black Trans Feminism and Cistem Failure: Essays on Blackness and Cisgender (both published with Duke University Press, 2022) and is currently at work on a three-volume collection of critical essays on “jailbreaking” gender, race, and class. 

*Note on pronouns: The “preference” for they/them pronouns to describe myself is an attempt to mark my irreverence toward the gender binary, and to mark my tentative and always-in-process relationship to gender nonbinariness. Put differently, this is not to say I “am” nonbinary but, more pointedly, seek a nonbinaristic relationship to my own understanding of my gender—an attempted unrelation to gender, as it were. Thus, it matters less what pronoun one uses for me; I am, ultimately, pronoun indifferent. That capaciousness is simply another attempt to express an irreverence and disdain for the gender binary and the ways it might inhere in pronouns.

Selected Publications:

Cistem Failure: Essays on Blackness and Cisgender. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2022.

Black Trans Feminism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2022.

“RE: [No Subject]—On Nonbinary Gender.” Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences (2022)

“Trouble Genders: ‘LGBT’ Collapse and Trans Fundamentality.” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy (2021).

“Incorporeal Blackness: A Theorization in Two Parts—Rachel Dolezal and Your Face In Mine.” CR: the New Centennial Review (2020).

“I Brought You Into This Word, and I’ll Take You Out: Black Feminist WomanWord in Shay Youngblood’s Soul Kiss.” African American Review (2020).

“Black Fugitivity Un/gendered.” The Black Scholar (2019).