Jack Halberstam - Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability

Jack Halberstam - Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability, Stice Lecture, 2016, Earl and Edna Stice Lectureship in the Social Sciences

GWSS presents Stice Lecturer Jack Halberstam, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender Studies, Comparative Literature, and English, University of Southern California.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016, 7:00-8:00 pm, Kane Hall 130

Sponsored by the Earl and Edna Stice Lectureship in the Social Sciences and The Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.

Background Image: Heather Cassils, Becoming An Image Performance Still No. 1 (ONE National Archives, Transactivations, Los Angeles), 2012.

Abstract. In the last decade, public discussions of transgenderism have increased exponentially. What was once regarded as an unusual or even unfortunate disorder has become an accepted articulation of gendered embodiment as well as a new site for political activism. How did a stigmatized identity become so central to US and European articulations of self and other? What fuels the continued fascination with transgender embodiment and how has the recognition of its legitimacy changed current gender protocols in the US? What is the history of gender and how does it sit alongside histories of sexuality, race, ability and health? This talk will focus on recent representations of the transgender body to think about how and why gender variability has become such a contested site recently for discussions of access, identity, futurity and change itself. 

Halberstam works in the areas of popular, visual and queer culture with an emphasis on subcultures. Books by Halberstam include, Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), a study of popular gothic cultures of the 19th and 20th centuries; Female Masculinity (1998), a ground breaking argument about non-male masculinity; In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies, Subcultural Lives (2005); The Queer Art of Failure (2011) and Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal (2012). Halberstam is currently working on a project about queer anarchy tentatively titled: The Wild.

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