WGSS 417
Black Trans Studies Spring 2022
Division II

Class Details

Black people have a significant stake in thinking about and theorizing the body in relation to self-definition, state regulation, and physical and social death among other phenomena. In 2021 we have seen both the institutionalization of transgender studies alongside the heightened visibility of transgender people. In the midst of multiple national crises (the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, police brutality, and racial capitalism; all of which disproportionately impact Black and brown people), we are at a moment of reckoning. We are coming to terms with the ways race permeates all of our institutions, and more specifically how anti-Blackness is embedded within the social fabric of the US. What would it look like to understand transgender theory, transgender experiences, and transgender cultures through this lens? What might we learn from taking a focused look at how Blackness and transness come into conversation within the current context of the US settler-colonial state? How can we better understand the ways white supremacy shapes constructions of gender? How can that impact how we think about, study and engage with trans communities? In this class we will work to critically think about trans studies through a lens of race and racialization, with a specific focus on Blackness and Black trans experience(s). The course is divided into three major themes: Trans Studies, Trans People and Experiences, and Trans Cultures and Transness in Society. We will engage knowledge about transgender life across various mediums including: scholarly texts, film, fiction, social media and oral histories. While focusing on understanding Blackness and Black trans experience, we will take an intersectional approach, also engaging issues of class, sexuality, nationality and ability.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3775
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Analytical papers, research project
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: WGSS majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: WGSS Racial Sexual + Cultural Diversity Courses
WGSS Theory Courses

Class Grid

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