Gender Studies | Topics in Gender Studies: Crossing Sex & Gender Lines
G104 | 14567 | Schusterbauer, E


In this course, we will examine the emergence and popularization
of “transgender” and “transsexual” as categories of identity and
analysis.  Utilizing an historical perspective, we will analyze the
consolidation of these terms, first in medical and psychological
literature, and then in more popular arenas.  As a way of
understanding what claiming a transgender or transsexual identity
has meant in different times and places, we will read excerpts from
several well known and highly theorized transgender/transsexual
autobiographies.  In order to understand how transgender and
transsexual identities are conceived of in contemporary U.S.
society, we will turn to pop cultural representations and mass media
portrayals.  Ultimately, we will use transgender/transsexual theory
as a point from which to consider:
•	The general flexibility (or inflexibility) of gender and sex
categories
•	The intersection between socially constructed gender and
biological sex
•	The intersection between transgender/transsexual identity
and other identity categories (like race, age, sexuality).
•	The public fascination with transgender/transsexual
identity, as a moment of transgression, destabilization, and
political potential