Trans and Queer Theory Colloquium

Contacts: Levi Hord ([email protected]); Connor Spencer ([email protected]); Christine Prevas ([email protected])

Housed in Columbia’s Department of English and Comparative Literature, this colloquium offers a meeting ground for scholars working in the fields of Queer and Trans Theory. We view these fields as sharing common terrain while also occupying distinct intellectual genealogies that have occasionally rubbed against each other in productive friction. Although we understand these fields as interdisciplinary by nature, we anchor our approach in the methodologies of literary and cultural study that are cultivated in English, Comparative Literature, Film, and Theater/Performance Studies departments.
We understand gender and sexuality as categories which are imbricated with global systems of power that shape the subjective experience of individuals across the coordinates of race, class, and nation. In order to address these concepts, we work across diverse time periods and genealogies; we assert that strict periodization protocols cannot adequately suit the unique challenges that the study of gender and sexuality in a global context presents.
Moroever, we emphasize an intersectional approach to our scholarship that takes to heart the interventions of queer of color critique. We stress that categories such as “Queer” and “Trans” cannot be sundered from their formation as racialized concepts, and we believe that the study of gender and sexuality demands different canons and forms of knowledge to avoid impoverished thought.
Working closely with the Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender, the Queer/Trans Theory Colloquium aims to open a space of dialogue for academics of all stages whose scholarship pursues the study of gender and sexuality. We invite active participation from students and scholars whose work engages the methodologies and objects of literary, film, media, cultural, and performance studies.

  1. A monthly meeting of our colloquium’s reading group, which will investigate works both vintage and contemporary in the field in a focused discussion. Texts will be sourced from the suggestions and interests of our members.
  2. One formal, community-building activity each semester, including talks by invited speakers, presentations by advanced PhD students, shared readings between faculty and students, and student panels.
  3. A social event at least once a semester, to build networks and create connections and community across departments.
  4. Workshops each semester which involve student and faculty member participation. The colloquium will serve as a workshop space for dissertation chapters, but other meetings may cover oral exam lists, dissertation proposals, mock job-talks and feedback on works-in-progress.

To join our email list, please send an email to Levi Hord ([email protected])

Core Faculty Committee: Jack Halberstam ([email protected]); Joseph Albernaz ([email protected])