Date of Award

Spring 2021

Department or Program

Comparative Literature Program

First Advisor

Silvia Spitta

Second Advisor

Tarek El-Ariss


This article examines the possibilities and limits of gender becomings in Paul Preciado’s book Testo yonqui (Testo Junkie). A genre-fluid “body-essay,” his text theorizes a departure from gender through contemporary medicine. Following Preciado in his self-administration of testosterone, the book labels today’s reality a “pharmacopornographic era,” a new iteration of Foucault’s biocapitalism. After designating Preciado’s self-generated transformations as becomings, I explore how the book’s heterotopic spaces––including its genre––facilitate Preciado’s forward-moving gender identity. A Foucauldian term, heterotopia has not yet been applied to Testo Junkie, however it offers insight into the book’s potential to motivate individuals to shape their own identities. To conclude this analysis, I consider how, while these instances of becomings are exemplified especially in Testo Junkie’s fictional passages, the text’s theoretical passages fail to qualify as heterotopic. Preciado’s pharmacopornographic theory therefore limits the book’s power to cultivate a reader’s ability to destabilize societal expectations around bodies.