Book Panel on Histories of the Transgender Child
Society for Literature, Science and the Arts Annual Meeting
***Date and time TBA
This panel uses the occasion of the publication of Histories of the Transgender Child by the University of Minnesota Press to highlight how scholars working in transgender studies, ecological studies, childhood studies, queer studies, and theories of plasticity and the biopolitical body intersect with and diffract the book’s central conceptual and historical inquiries. Rather than straightforwardly reviewing the book, panelists will investigate their own current projects through their affinities, tensions, and dialogues with Histories of the Transgender Child.
Rebekah Sheldon (Indiana University Bloomington) will move across several recent works concerned with how children’s plasticity designates a historically and conceptually unique iteration of the racial, affective, and biopolitical forms of animate matter. Jean-Thomas Tremblay (New Mexico State University) will track convergences and divergences between Gill-Peterson's iteration trans of color critique and ecological and individuative models of subjectivity that proceed from the interplay between organism and milieu. Tremblay will examine, in particular, how such convergences and divergences shape narratives of individual development and historical flow.
Queer and Unusual Objects: On Trans/Gender Archives
American Studies Association Annual Meeting
This session convenes a roundtable of scholars working in unexpected archival registers of several dominant discourses that have tried to capture and confine trans, queer, and gender variant life. The panelists argue for the value of perplexing, surprising, and emergent lines of study in the so-called “established” archives of medicine, sexology, and second wave feminism. I will present a do-it-yourself mail course run by a trans woman out of California in the early 1950s that provided instruction not in medical transition, but an enchanted practice of “transmutation.”
National Women's Studies Association Annual Meeting
Panel: Trans Kids (On the Margins)
With Gabby Benavente, Ann Travers, and Erica Meiners (respondent)
This panel proposes a framework that de-centers the white, binary-conforming, relatively wealthy trans child with parental support that tends to dominate mainstream and social media representations of trans kids. Papers draw on queer feminism/critical race/assemblage theory and critical childhood studies within an anti-poverty/anti-colonial/prison abolition framework
How to Bring Your Kids Up Trans: The Racialization of Care
My paper shows how white trans children were reduced by medicine to living laboratories, proxies for techniques aimed at altering gendered phenotype. For trans children of color, by contrast, the racialization of plasticity tended to disqualify them as less plastic and therefore less deserving of care, frequently intensifying systems of incarceration. The discourse of plasticity has prescribed one narrow form of futurity through whiteness, while denying a future to those who are barred from its shelter.
Greer Lankton’s Living Room; or, the Occulted of Trans History
At Tuning Speculation VI | Occultations: Listening to the Occult
This presentation takes up occulting as an unlikely resource for rethinking transgender history, where what has lain in plain sight might offer a richer sense of what transness can mean outside of medicine. American artist Greer Lankton (1958-1996), who left her entire life’s work and a staggeringly enormous personal archive to the Mattress Factory Museum in Pittsburgh, serves as a case study in a differently powerful, occulted artistic work (she was never that famous) that iconizes transness, without redemption or catharsis, in the domestic sphere.
Julian is co-organizing a symposium at the University of Pittsburgh, Access, Advocacy, & Empowerment: Health and Well-being of LGBTQ Youth.
Sponsored by the Law School, the Center for Bioethics, and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program, the symposium will bring together researchers, advocates, and clinicians from a range of disciplines to examine the barriers to and possibilities for affirming the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans young people. Keynote speakers include Dr. Zena Sharman, the editor of The Remedy: Queer and Trans Voices on Health and Health Care (2016) and Professor Craig Konnoth from University of Colorado Law School.
Details and schedule to come.