Trans Studies NOW! "We're here, we're Queer, Trans, and Feminist in the Academy"

Trans Studies Now! is a year-long speaker series organized by the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program and the LGBT Studies Program at Cornell, with co-sponsorship from the Department of Literatures in English and the Society for the Humanities. Featuring cutting-edge scholars from a range of disciplines, the series offers a forum for discussing this field; audience members are invited to read selected articles before the event.

Guests are invited to read these selected articles before the event.

Marquis Bey '19
Talk title: "Impossible Nonbinary Dreams" Bey’s work focuses on thinking blackness not as racial identification but as “paraontological,” and utilizes this understanding to recalibrate how we might move through questions of nonnormative subjectivity—via race, gender, and personhood. Through black feminist theory, trans and nonbinary studies, and abolitionist theory, Bey articulates  a project of black trans feminism that is not beholden to a veneration of particular subjects but rather an assertion of the dismantling of the normative constraints that define the world—white supremacy, cisnormativity, and heteropatriarchy as well as the categories of race and gender themselves. 

Bey is the author, most recently, of Black Trans Feminism and Cistem Failure: Essays on Blackness and Cisgender (both published with Duke University Press, 2022) and is currently at work on a three-volume collection of critical essays on “jailbreaking” gender, race, and class. 

Amy Brainer 
Talk title: “Beyond Identity: Trans in Relation”Amy studies queer and trans family issues in Taiwan and in transnational contexts. Her first book, Queer Kinship and Family Change in Taiwan (Rutgers, 2019), received the 2019 Ruth Benedict Prize from the Association for Queer Anthropology. Her current research follows queer and trans individuals and couples as they navigate marriage-based immigration to the United States. At UM-Dearborn, Dr. Brainer is Coordinator of the LGBTQ Studies Certificate and teaches a number of courses in the program, including Sexualities, Genders, and Bodies (WGST/HUM/SOC 366), LGBTQ Religious Experience (WGST/RELS/SOC 388), Family, Sexuality, and Human Rights (WGST/ANTH/SOC 451), and Hope and Joy in Queer and Trans Lives (FNDS 1602).

Emma Heaney
Talk title: “Cisness, Patriarchy, and Bodily Freedom” Emma is scholar of comparative literature, feminist studies, and trans studies. Her first book, The New Woman: Literary Modernism, Queer Theory, and the Trans Feminine Allegory (Northwestern UP 2017) traces the medicalization of trans femininity and the uptake of the resulting diagnostic in works of literature and theory. Her edited collection, Feminism Against Cisness [Duke UP 2023], gathers essays by trans studies scholars that demonstrate the potential of feminist critique freed of the ideology that assigned sex determines sexed experience. Her current research derives a theory of the transformation of queer and trans identities from works of literature spanning the long twentieth century. Emma was previously an Assistant Professor of English at William Patterson University and has held fellowships at MacDowell and the Marble House Project.

This event will be held at the A.D. White House; It's free and open to the public. For more information, contact FGSS Director Jane Juffer at

On Friday, April 12 at 10 am there will be a Graduate Student Breakfast with the speakers from the "We're here, we're Queer, Trans, and Feminist in the Academy".
190 Rockefeller Hall (FGSS conference room).
Please email to RSVP to attend the breakfast conversation.


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Marquis Bey '19