Dr Yv E. Nay

Yv E. Nay


Dr Yv E. Nay

Department of Gender Studies

Email y.nay@lse.ac.uk

Room No TW1.11.01.I


About me

Yv E. Nay is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Gender Studies of LSE. They hold a PhD in Sociology from the University of Basel where they were lecturer and fellow at the Center for Gender Studies. Prior to joining the LSE Department of Gender Studies, Yv was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Cultural Inquiry ICI Berlin, SNSF Fellow at Columbia University and a Research Fellow at the University of Zurich. Yv’s research engages with the question of how politics, affect and regimes of gender and sexuality intersect. Their book entitled Feeling Family (Zaglossus 2017) is a study of the affective politics of queer families, which interweaves feminist, queer, affect theory and queer of color critique. Yv’s current project focuses on the affective structure of activism within transgender communities. They have published in Sociologus. Journal for Social Anthropology, Femina Politica Journal of Feminist Political Science, and are co-editor of the anthology Affect and Gender (Affekt und Geschlecht – Eine einführende Anthologie) (Zaglossus 2014).



Research Interests

Yv’s work is concerned with the imaginaries and lived experiences of queer and transgender kinship formations, the transforming notions of gender and sexuality within political realms, and the ambivalences of affect in politics. Their research is situated in three main areas: the sociology of family; social justice politics and movements; and the affective structure of politics.

Yv’s first monograph Feeling Family (2017) addresses the question that is controversially debated in social politics: who does, who can, and who may distinguish themselves as family? The starting point is demands for marriage equality and for same-sex couples’ right to parenting. Yv discusses the fundamental changes and political processes connected to the formation of family with reference to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender/trans* and genderqueer persons (LGBT*Q) in Switzerland. Taking an ethnographic perspective, Yv traces not only the co-existence of the questioning and the reinforcement of normative notions of family, but that and how the questioning and reinforcement reciprocally construct each other. Their study shows how the figure of the ‘rainbow family’ serves both as a crystallisation point for the dilution of expectations of normality of family and, at the same time, constitutively reinforces racist, culturalising and nationalist norms. This includes an examination of the demands for legal recognition, the ideal of family happiness, and the stylisation of Switzerland as a ‘democratic’ and ‘progressive’ nation. The analyses result in an affect-theoretical reformulation of the analytic concept ‘heteronormativity’ as longing for ‘normality.’ In addition, the case is made for a conception of queerfeminst politics that places affective paradoxes at its centre. 

Yv’s current project intensifies their previous focus on politics of affect by examining sensed communities of transgender/trans* activists. They examine the recent extensive transnational political activism of transgender people. Transgender persons are increasingly visible, with unprecedented media coverage of transitioning celebrities; gender-non-conforming characters and performers in mainstream culture; and rising social movements to end violence against gender-variant people. Yv’s project explores such transgender activism, which swiftly expanded from predominantly local dimensions to increasingly global social movements with transnational impact. They scrutinise how the movement’s inherent ideals and goals produce both a sense of belonging of some trans* activists to their communities and fissures in the affective community forged by exclusions. The project takes on the critique of the term ‘transgender’ commonly used as a progressive transnationalised and globalised concept of the Global North/West and further elaborates the foundational preconditions of the raced, classed, Euro- and Anglo-centric notion ‘transgender’ for non-conforming gender representations in activism. These issues are key to a general account of the force of affect and emotions in building activist communities and political mobilisation, and to a particular account of social movements involving transgender people. Focusing on affective activism, Yv argues that the ambivalent affective structure of trans* communities require a renewal of the notions of community and political mobilisation in social and political science.



Books & Edited Collections

Nay, Yv E. (2017). Feeling Family – Affective Paradoxes of the Normalisation of ‘Rainbow Families’ (Feeling Family – Affektive Paradoxien der Normalisierung von ‘Regenbogenfamilien’). Vienna: Zaglossus.

Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (2014) (eds.). Affect and Gender. An Introductory Anthology (Affekt und Geschlecht. Eine einführende Anthologie). Vienna: Zaglossus.

Nay, Yv E., Grubenmann, Bettina, Larcher, Sabina (2008). Concepts of Care of Babies and Toddlers in Nurseries: Expert Report for Innovations (Kleinstkindbetreuung in Kindertagesstätten. Expertise für innovative Konzeptionen). Bern, Stuttgart, Vienna: Haupt. (first author with second authors B. Grubenmann and S. Larcher).


Queer and feminist theory; transgender theory; affect studies; sexuality studies; social justice movements; sociology of queer and transgender kinship; qualitative methodologies


Journal Articles

Nay, Yv E. (2015). Queerfeminist Politics of Affectively Structured Paradoxes (Queerfeministische Politiken affektiv strukturierter Paradoxien). In: Femina Politica. Journal of Feminist Political Sciences, 24 (1), 52-64.


Nay, Yv E. (2015). ‘Happy as in Queer’ – The Affective Paradoxes of Queer Families. In: Sociologus. Journal for Social Anthropology, 65 (2), 1-20.


Bühler, Nolwenn, de Jong, Willemijn, Nay, Yv E., Zehnder, Kathrin (2015). ‚Ontological Choreography’ as an Ethnographic Tool: Understanding the Making of Families by Reproductive Technologies in Switzerland. In: Tsantsa. Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Society, 20,  34-46. (co-authored with N. Bühler, W. de Jong and K. Zehnder).


Nay, Yv E. (2014). Queer-feminist Affective Resistance beyond Institutions (Queer-feministisch informierte affektive Widerstandspraxen jenseits von Institutionen). In: Femina Politica. Journal of Feminist Political Sciences, 23 (1), 147-148.


Nay, Yv E. (2013). Queering Citizenship? Processes of Normalisation of Same-sex and Transgender Parents in Law (Qu(e)er zum Recht? Normalisierungsprozesse gleich- und trans*geschlechtlicher Elternschaft durch Recht). In: Fampra. Die Praxis des Familienrechts, 14 (2), 366-394.


Nay, Yv E. (2012). Family goes queer? Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans* Parents and Citizenship (Family goes queer? Lesben, Schwule, Bisexuelle und Trans* mit Kindern im Kampf um rechtliche Anerkennung). In: Quer – denken, lesen, schreiben. Alice-Salomon-Fachhochschule Berlin, 18 (12), 34-39.


Nay, Yv E., Grubenmann, Bettina (2007). Baby and Toddler Care in Nurseries - An Expertise for Innovative Concepts (Säuglingsbetreuung in Kindertagessätten - Expertise für eine innovative Konzeption). In: Krippenjournal, 2, 2-8. (first author with second author B. Grubenmann)


Book Chapters

Nay, Yv E. (2017). Affective Trans* Activism – Community as an Atmosphere of Discomfort (Affektiver Trans* Aktivismus – Community als Atmosphäre des Unbehagens.) In: Hoenes, J., Koch, M. (eds.). Transfer and Interaktion. Science and Activism on the Treshold of Normative Gender Binary (Transfer und Interaktion. Wissenschaft und Aktivismus an der Grenze heteronormativer Zweigeschlechtlichkeit.) Oldenburg: BIS Verlag. 207-227.


Nay, Yv E. (2014). ´Not Gay as in Happy, but Happy as in Family´ – National Sentimentality in Politics of Affects (´Not Gay as in Happy, but Happy as in Family´ – Affektive Politiken nationaler Sentimentalität). In: Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (eds.). Affect and Gender. An introductory Anthology (Affekt und Geschlecht – Eine einführende Anthologie).Vienna: Zaglossus. 137-158.


Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (2014). Affect and Gender. A feminist, queer and post/colonial Introduction to Affect Theory (Affekt und Geschlecht: Eine Einleitung in Affekt-Theorien aus einer feministischen, queeren und post/kolonialen Perspektive. In: Baier, Angelika, Binswanger, Christa, Häberlein, Jana, Nay, Yv E., Zimmermann, Andrea (eds.). Affect and Gender. An introductory Anthology (Affekt und Geschlecht – Eine einführende Anthologie). Vienna: Zaglossus. 11-54. (co-authored with A. Baier, C. Binswanger, J. Häberlein, A. Zimmermann).


Nay, Yv E. (2013). Feeling Differently – Affective Politics of Sameness and Difference (Feeling Differently – Affektive Politiken der Gleichheit in Differenz). In: Grisard, Dominique, Jäger, Ulle, König, Tomke (eds.). Being Different. Reflections on Gender and Difference (Verschieden sein. Nachdenken über Geschlecht und Differenz). Sulzbach, Taunus: Ulrike Helmer. 281-294.


Mesquita, Sushila, Nay, Yv E. (2013). ´We are Family?!´ A queerfeminist Analysis of affective and discoursive Practices in Family Politics (´We are Family?!´ Eine queerfeministische Analyse affektiver und diskursiver Praxen in der Familienpolitik). In: Bannwart, Bettina, Cottier, Michelle, Durrer, Cheyenne, Kühler, Annina, Küng, Zita (eds.). No Time for Utopia? Perspectives on Politics of Life in Law (Keine Zeit für Utopien? Perspektiven der Lebensformenpolitik im Recht).Zürich, St. Gallen: Dike. 193-218. (co-authored with S. Mesquita)


Nay, Yv E. (2011). Phobia in Swiss Homoland – On the Question of Homonationalism (Phobie in Swiss Homoland – Zur Frage von Homonationalismus). In: Thal, A. (ed.). Chewing the Scenery. Zurich: Edition fink. 149-151.