This issue of Feminist Studies is particularly exciting for anyone with an interest in the ways that gender and the body are deployed to bolster neoliberal states and markets. The precarity of the body, the commodification of gender, race, and class, and the reengineering of masculinity are themes that inform many of the articles in this issue.
Charlie Zhang presents hypermasculinity as an attendant feature of China‘s transition to a state market economy, and Elizabeth Schewe explores the vulnerability and dispensability of trans masculinity within neoliberal filmic frames. Catherine Rottenberg reflects on how popular feminism in our time has shifted from advancing freedoms to a highly individuated ideal of achieving personal balance. Michelle Meagher analyzes the work of three artists who playfully question representations of aging female bodies, while Elspeth Brown probes the affective labor that was key to the world of “brownskin” models in high fashion in the 1920s. The poets Mariana Sierra and Heather Holliger ruminate on the themes of commodification and terrorizing of bodies. Our issue commemorates the legacy of Audre Lorde this spring, on the eightieth anniversary of her birth, with contributions by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Lyndon Gill, and Dagmar Schultz, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, who, in their respective arenas as cultural workers, film makers, activists, and academics, illuminate the richness of Lorde‘s words—which indeed both heal and serve as a clarion call to action in neoliberal times.