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Beyond the Binary: Trans-forming Gender

What’s in a name? How do you define your gender? As a ‘man’ or a ‘woman’? What happens when you want to change your name in light of a new gender currency? What if you are agender, non-binary trans, binary trans, genderqueer, a trans queer boi? What does all this mean? And what are your pronouns? He? She? They? Ze?

This module seeks to promote teaching on the historical and contemporary experiences of transgender people. It fosters critical analysis of gender in relation to trans binary and non-binary genders and focuses on the meaning of transgender for everyday social life in a local as well as global context. It aims to introduce students to gender as beyond ‘the binary’ and introduce them to the theory and practice of trans epistemologies in contemporary society. Taking a trans-feminist perspective, the course recognizes the increasingly critical field of inquiry in trans binary and non-binary social life (including socio and medico legal frameworks) and how this is cross cut by other variables such as race, impairment, class, sexuality and religion. The course will address socio and medico legal issues such as healthcare, young people, surgery as well as research methodologies and media representation and presentation.

By the end of the module you will have an understanding of the impact of trans as a form of knowledge both theoretically and politically, how trans (genderqueer, binary and non-binary trans, agender etc) issues are related to the feminist movement, why trans/feminism offers a global perspective for decentering an anglocentric trans studies and politics, How multiple forms of oppression converge, intersect and overlap and need to be understood beyond a focus on sexed difference and how trans research and researching trans are deployed within sociology.