Surya Monro

Theorising Gender Diversity: Current trans, future directions

Abstract

Transgender studies has become institutionalised within some academic disciplines over the last few years, whilst other disciplines remain largely untouched by questions of gender diversity to date. Gender-diverse movements offer much of interest to political scientists and to feminists, yet there is a tendency for cisgender academics reinscribe, in their concerns with gender justice, a rigid male/female binary system. Broader considerations of gender diversity, including those pertaining to intersex, androgynous, and genderqueer subjects, provoke important questions for academics and others who are concerned with issues of social change and justice.

This presentation addresses the implications of gender diversity for our praxis, exploring questions of materiality, in contast to the cultural studies turn that can be criticised for overlooking the real-life struggles that gender-diverse peoplemay have in a world that is deeply gender-binaried. It discusses the scholarship on transgender citizenship, and explores ways in which this might be developed, using empirical material from two UK-based studies. In addition, the presentation interrogates Western gender/sex categories, drawing on some materials from Southern countries (India, South Africa) and it addresses the utility of the term ‘transgender’ in a postcolonial context.

Biography

Surya Monro (email: s.monro@hud.ac.uk) is based at the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences, University of Hudderfield, UK. Surya has published extensively in the fields of gender and sexuality, notably on the topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equalities. She is the author of Gender Politics: Citizenship, Activism, and Sexual Diversity (Pluto Press 2005) and co-author (with Diane Richardson) of Sexuality, Equality and Diversity (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012).

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