May 18, 2024  
College Catalog 2023-2024 
College Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

WGSS 205 - Trans Theories and Politics

Cross-Listed as AMST 205  
From Caitlyn Jenner to Laverne Cox, CeCe MacDonald to Chelsea Manning, Transparent to Pose, trans people are experiencing unprecedented media coverage. In fact, some years ago now Time Magazine declared that we are at the “transgender tipping point.” And yet, alongside this positive media coverage, we see legislatures across the country debated so-called “bathroom bills” that foment fear of the transsexual child predator and bills that would restrict trans kids’ participation in sports. Even more concerning, The National Coalition of Antiviolence Projects reports that 2020 saw a record number of murders of transgender individuals, in particular trans women of color. In all of these instances, it’s useful to consider how and why the specter of transness is raised. What social and political work does that figure do? This course will examine transness as a practice of gender transgression, rather than solely an identity category, one which is historically and geographically contingent. In this class, we will ask: What has gender non-conformity meant in various historical moments? How do race, class, gender, sexuality, and disability structure trans lives and communities? How have key institutions within the US constructed ideas about gender normativity and policed gender transgression? How has that policing impacted and shaped trans life? What is the relationship between feminism and trans people and trans liberation? How have trans people envisioned and fought for social justice? What space can trans embodiment and politics open up for new ways of living, relating, and imagining otherwise? Every year. (4 Credits)