New Course – GWS 294: Introduction to Transgender Studies

/ October 14, 2015/ Gender, Teaching/ 0 comments

Trans Studies Flyer Image (2)

University of Illinois at Chicago, Spring 2015

Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:30-10:45 AM

Instructor: Erica Chu,

PDF of Course Flyer


Course Description

As same-sex marriage becomes less of a focus for many western nations, new attention is being given to transgender identities. In the US, this has included a focus on celebrities such as Laverne Cox, and Caitlyn Jenner. It would seem a newfound visibility is making things better for gender variant folks, but what change is really happening? What change is even needed? And who exactly are the folks who stand to benefit from this change?

This course examines gender variant identities from an intersectional and transnational perspective. The guiding questions organizing this course are: What are the needs of trans and gender variant communities? How is gender identity reliant on culture and place? How have trans* identities and social movements formed over time? And how is “transgender” represented in media and culture? As we read and view texts across a range of disciplines by academics, community organizers, activists, and artists, we will work to form personal philosophies of allyship and community in relation to the diverse identities and experiences of those who are gender variant.

Issues addressed:

  • Transgender, non-binary, and other gender variant identities
  • Local, national, and transnational perspectives
  • Community needs
  • Trans* sexualities
  • Relationship to LGBTQAI* Communities
  • Body positivity
  • Social movements
  • Representation
  • Interpersonal and institutional violence
  • Politics of passing
  • The medical field
  • Transmisogyny


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