Ideas on Fire is organizing three Author Meets Critics sessions at the 2018 Cultural Studies Association conference. Come on by!

Heath Fogg Davis

in conversation with Julian Gill-Peterson

an Author Meets Critics session

When: June 2, 2018. 1:30–3:00 pm ET

Where: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

Participants: Heath Fogg Davis (featured author), Julian Gill-Peterson (discussant), and Cathy Hannabach (session chair)

Registration: Cultural Studies Association website

Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?

Beyond Trans pushes the conversation on gender identity to its limits: questioning the need for gender categories in the first place. Whether on birth certificates, college admissions applications, or bathroom doors, why do we need to mark people and places with sex categories? Do they serve a real purpose or are these places and forms just mechanisms of exclusion? Heath Fogg Davis offers an impassioned call to rethink the usefulness of dividing the world into not just male and female categories but even additional categories of transgender and gender fluid. Davis, himself a transgender man, explores the underlying gender-enforcing policies and customs in American life that have led to transgender bathroom bills, college admissions controversies, and more, arguing that it is necessary for our society to take real steps to challenge the assumption that gender matters.

He examines four areas where we need to re-think our sex-classification systems: sex-marked identity documents such as birth certificates, driver’s licenses and passports; sex-segregated public restrooms; single-sex colleges; and sex-segregated sports. Speaking from his own experience and drawing upon major cases of sex discrimination in the news and in the courts, Davis presents a persuasive case for challenging how individuals are classified according to sex and offers concrete recommendations for alleviating sex identity discrimination and sex-based disadvantage.

For anyone in search of pragmatic ways to make our world more inclusive, Davis’ recommendations provide much-needed practical guidance about how to work through this complex issue. A provocative call to action, Beyond Trans pushes us to think how we can work to make America truly inclusive of all people.

 

About Heath Fogg Davis

Heath Fogg Davis is an associate professor of Political Science and a faculty affiliate in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program at Temple University. His book Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? questions our need for gender policies, and offers practical strategies to help organizations of all kinds and sizes design and implement policies that are both trans-inclusive and better for all of us. He consults with businesses, schools, and organizations, and is an appointed member of the Mayor’s Commission on LGBT Affairs in Philadelphia. His commentary on transgender and gender non-conforming political and legal issues has appeared in Aeon Magazine, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Feminist Wire and on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, the New Books Network, Imagine Otherwise, and Sex Out Loud.

Check out our other events at CSA this year