Transsexuality, Transgenderism, and the Rest...

Thursdays, 4 – 7 PM / 1.31.08 – 5.8.08

This course will cover narrative, anthropological, historical, and theoretical texts (including films) about transsexuality and transgenderism. We begin with transsexuality before and beyond identity politics and its transformation in the light/shadow of identity politics and theories of gender. While the course will remain located in the Americas and Europe, we will consider how trans-subjectivities produced in other socio-cultural formations inform histories and politics of transsexuality and transgenderism in so-called western contexts.


Claudia Castañeda teaches feminist science and technology studies in Boston area universities, and works as a writing coach for academics at all stages of the research/writing process. She is the author of Figurations: Child, Bodies, Worlds (Duke University Press, 2002),  and other articles that focus on scientific and technological materialization of bodily differences including race, class, gender, and sexuality in broader circuits of power and exchange.

Afsaneh Najmabadi teaches History and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University. Her last book, Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), received the 2005 Joan Kelly Memorial Prize from the American Historical Association. She is an associate editor of the six-volume Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures (Leiden: Brill, 2004-2008), and is currently working on Sex in Change: Configurations of Sexuality and Gender in Contemporary Iran.

Jyoti Puri writes and teaches in the areas of sexualities, states, nationalisms, and transnational feminisms. Her book, Woman, Body, Desire in Post-colonial India (Routledge 1999), addresses how constructs of gender and sexuality are shaped across national and transnational contexts. Encountering Nationalism, (Blackwell Publishers 2004), is a feminist sociological exploration of nationalism and the state. A number of related articles and chapters are published in journals and edited volumes on sexuality and gender. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants, including a Rockefeller Research Fellowship and a Fulbright Senior Research award. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Sexualizing the State: Biopolitics and Sodomy Law in India.

Next Steps

Contact Us

Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085