Queering Eugenia Falleni: towards a trans politics of movement

Saartje Tack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sydney, Australia, 1920. A man named Harry Crawford was arrested for the murder of his wife Annie Birkett. Shortly after the arrest, the police discovered that Crawford was not a man but a woman named Eugenia Falleni. There are no archival documents in which Falleni speaks about their gender and sexuality, and yet recent (re)presentations of this individual have assigned them to rigid identity categories such as lesbian, transgender, transsexual, heterosexual, man and woman, based on interpre- tations of their gendered and sexual acts. In this article, I argue that such approaches stabilize gendered and sexual acts characterized by movement into congruent and whole identities and, as such, foreclose queer possibilities. By deploying scholarship that sits at the intersections of queer and trans studies, I argue that recent representations of Falleni reveal identity as a fundamental structuring device for understanding being- in-the-world, and propose that we read cases past and present as sets of transing moments that enable a framing of all gendered being as movement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-84
Number of pages14
JournalQueer Studies in Media & Popular Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Eugenia Falleni
  • Harry Crawford
  • identity
  • crossdressing
  • trans
  • transgender
  • queer

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