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Conference Schedule & Locations October 5-6, 2018

Katzen Arts Center entrance to AU Museum and the Recital Hall, site of Friday evening events.

Please note that

  • Katzen Arts Center hosts Friday evening events:
    Friday, 4:15 to 6:00, Mel Y. Chen and Che Gossett Keynotes
    Friday, 6:00 to 6:15, Schlegel Legion of Honor Award
    Friday, 6:15 to 7:30, Reception
  • Spring Valley Building hosts Friday daytime events:
    Friday, 8:30-4:00, Room 402
  • Mary Graydon Center hosts all Saturday events:
    Saturday, 8:30 to 5:30, Mary Graydon Center, Room 3-4

Please see Visit AU for information about parking (free on Saturdays and weekdays after 5:00), AU's free campus shuttle from the Tenleytown Metro, and maps.

Friday at Spring Valley Building

Opening Remarks

Round Table:
Trans Politics, Theory, and History

Talia Mae Bettcher, California State University, Los Angeles
Loren Cannon, Humboldt University
Miqqi Alicia Gilbert, York University
C. Jacob Hale, California State University, Northridge

Moderator: Salvador Vidal-Ortiz (American University)


Session 1:
Curiosity, Spectacle, and Desire

“The Chaser Continuum”
Amy Marvin, University of Oregon

“Puzzle Pieces: Shapes of Trans Curiosity”
Perry Zurn, American University

“Loving Curiosity”
Grayson Hunt, University of Texas, Austin

Moderator: Ellen Feder (American University)


Workshop A:
Mapping and Contextualizing Black, Queer, and Trans Resistance in North Carolina

Ash Williams, Independent Scholar
Tommi Hayes, Independent Scholar


Session 2: Coloniality, Migration, and Diaspora

“Quareca Forty: Transing Chacha-Warmi at the Crossroads of Coloniality and Transgender”
Pedro Di Pietro, Syracuse University

“Keeping Chosen Families Together: Social Death, Trans Life, and the Politics of Migration”
Andrea Pitts, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

“Loving Trans-ly: Postcolonial and Diasporic Gendered Becoming”
Aqdas Aftab, University of Maryland, College Park

Moderator: Iván Ramos (University of Maryland)

Friday at Katzen Arts Center


Mel Y. Chen is Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies and Director for the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture at the University of California, Berkeley. Their first book, Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect (Duke UP 2012, MLA Alan Bray Award), explores questions of racialization, queering, gendering, disability, and affective economies in animate and inanimate “life” through the extended concept of animacy. Chen’s current book project, Chemical Intimacies, concerns relationships among the conceptual territories of toxicity and intoxication and related histories of the shared interanimation of race and disability with particular attention to gender and materiality. Elsewhere, Chen writes on slowness, gesture, inhumanisms, and cognitive disability and method. Chen co-edits a book series entitled “Anima” at Duke University Press and is part of a small and sustaining queer of color arts collective in the Bay Area.

“Abolitionist Entanglement: Blackness, Trans Aesthetics, and Ending the Grammars of Capture”

Che Gossett is a theory queen, writer, archivist at Barnard Center for Research on Women and PhD candidate in Trans/Gender Studies at Rutgers University. Their work has been published on sites such as LA Review of Books, Verso and Frieze as well as in anthologies such Trap Door (MIT Press, 2018), Queer Necropolitics (Routledge, 2014) and they are the recipient of various awards and fellowships, most recently as a Palestine American Research Center Fellow for 2017-18. They are also an NY Queer Art Mentor for 2018-19.

Richard L. Schlegel National Legion of Honor Award Ceremony

Visionary Leader: Eli Clare

White, disabled, and genderqueer, Eli Clare lives near Lake Champlain in occupied Abenaki territory (currently known as Vermont) where he writes and proudly claims a penchant for rabble-rousing. He has written two books of creative non-fiction, Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure (2017) and Exile and Pride: Disability, Queerness, and Liberation (1999), and a collect of poetry, The Marrrow’s Telling: Words in Motion (2008), and has been published in many periodicals and anthologies. Eli speaks, teaches, and facilitates all over the United States and Canada at conferences, community events, and colleges about disability, queer and trans identities, and social justice. Among other pursuits, he has walked across the United States for peace, coordinated a rape prevention program, and helped organize the first ever Queerness and Disability Conference. When he’s not writing or on the road, you can find him reading, hiking, camping, riding his recumbent trike, or otherwise having fun adventures.

At Katzen Arts Center's Abramson Family Recital Hall.

Saturday at Mary Graydon Center


Session 3: Racializing Trans

“The Unbearable Whiteness of Genderqueerness Under Neoliberalism”
Yannik Thiem, Villanova University

"Territorialization as Sex-Gender Differentiation"
Cecilio M. Cooper, Northwestern University

“Trans Necropolitics: Leelah Alcorn, Transgender Suicide, and the Political Economy”
Eli Erlick, University of California, Santa Cruz

Moderator: Nabina Liebow (American University)


Session 4: Trans Metaphysics

“Liberatory Relational Trans Identity”

Sam Sumpter, University of Washington

“Psyches that Matter”
Zoe Belinsky, Villanova University

"Beyond Binary: Genderqueer as Critical Gender Kind"
Robin Dembroff, Yale University

Moderator: Asia Ferrin (American University)


Session 5:
Law, Medicalization, and Methodology

Fiona Maeve Geist and Nihils Rev, Independent Scholars

“Ugly Laws, Black Codes, and Cross-Dressing Arrests”
Max Thornton, Drew University

“Telling Our Stories, Preserving Our Communities”
Julian Honkasalo, University of Helsinki

“Trans Scapegoating”
Loren Canon, Humboldt University

Moderator: Brielle Anderson (American University)


Session 6: Trans Embodiment

"Fat Trans of Color Subjectivity: Moving Toward the Abject in Merleau-Ponty"

Brooklyn Leo, Pennsylvania State University

“Trans* Technologies”
Ricky Frawley, Utrecht University

“Fracturing the Present: Trans Feminine of Color Temporalities”
Tamsin Kimoto, Emory University

Moderator: Juliana Martínez (American University)


Workshop B:
Trans Activism and Higher Ed

Talia Mae Bettcher, California State University, Los Angeles

Andrea Pitts, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Perry Zurn, American University
Mitch Boucher, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Moderator: Gail Weiss (George Washington University)


Closing Remarks

Mel Y. Chen

Keynote: Mel Y. Chen, University of California, Berkeley

Che Gossett

Keynote: Che Gossett, Rutgers University

Eli Clare

Richard L. Schlegel National Legion of Honor Awardee: Eli Clare