Title

Finger on Fast-forward: Transgender Literature and Theory from 1990 to Present Day

Lead Author Major

English

Lead Author Status

Junior

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Jeffrey Hole

Faculty Mentor Email

jhole@pacific.edu

Faculty Mentor Department

English

Abstract/Artist Statement

Despite the common belief that transgender and other non-binary identities are a recent phenomenon, evidence suggests that they have existed in societies throughout history all across the world. Transgender characters have also appeared in literature for many years, though their roles and how they are portrayed has evolved. Since its origin as an academic field 30 years ago, transgender theory has also experienced shifts in what ideas are being focused on. From the 1993 publications of both Leslie Feinberg’s novel Stone Butch Blues and Sandy Stone’s discussion of the transgender memoir in “A Posttranssexual Manifesto,” trans literature and theory have begun to look past the basic trans origin story and are, instead, focusing on gender as an oppressive construct. This body of scholarship has interrogated how factors such as race and class impact the lives of trans individuals. My research project reflects on the rapid theoretical evolution that transgender studies has experienced by examining works such as Kai Cheng Thom’s magical realist memoir Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars and Andrea Lawlor’s novel Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl. I argue that these works are illustrative of a theoretical shift in the discipline, what Susan Stryker emphasizes is a move towards examining how gender functions in relation to other institutions such as academia, medicine, education, and media.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

27-4-2018 11:20 AM

End Date

27-4-2018 11:39 AM

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Apr 27th, 11:20 AM Apr 27th, 11:39 AM

Finger on Fast-forward: Transgender Literature and Theory from 1990 to Present Day

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Despite the common belief that transgender and other non-binary identities are a recent phenomenon, evidence suggests that they have existed in societies throughout history all across the world. Transgender characters have also appeared in literature for many years, though their roles and how they are portrayed has evolved. Since its origin as an academic field 30 years ago, transgender theory has also experienced shifts in what ideas are being focused on. From the 1993 publications of both Leslie Feinberg’s novel Stone Butch Blues and Sandy Stone’s discussion of the transgender memoir in “A Posttranssexual Manifesto,” trans literature and theory have begun to look past the basic trans origin story and are, instead, focusing on gender as an oppressive construct. This body of scholarship has interrogated how factors such as race and class impact the lives of trans individuals. My research project reflects on the rapid theoretical evolution that transgender studies has experienced by examining works such as Kai Cheng Thom’s magical realist memoir Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars and Andrea Lawlor’s novel Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl. I argue that these works are illustrative of a theoretical shift in the discipline, what Susan Stryker emphasizes is a move towards examining how gender functions in relation to other institutions such as academia, medicine, education, and media.