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3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

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A lecture by Paisley Currah (Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center).

The right wing tells us there are only adult human females and adult human males, and that gender is fixed at birth. Those of us in gender studies and transgender studies tend to refute those claims with explanations about the mutability of gender, the secondary status of sex in determining social roles, and the nonbinary nature of characteristics generally associated with sex difference. Pro- and anti-trans movements appear to be litigating, seemingly endlessly, the etiology of sex and gender, the relation between the material and the social, the biological body and the psychological self. But for most conservative policymakers, gender has always been understood as elastic, redefined as the economy demands. In this talk, Paisley Currah will move away from battles over definitions and explore the connections between contemporary conflicts over trans issues and the history and persistence of gender and racial hierarchies in American society.  

Paisley Currah is a professor of political science and women’s & gender studies at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Currah has written on transgender politics for the Yale Review, the New York Review of Books, and the Boston Review. He is the founding co-editor of the leading journal in transgender studies, TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. Currah’s award-winning book, Sex Is as Sex Does: Governing Transgender Identity (2022) will be coming out in paperback this fall. He is currently a distinguished scholar at the Advanced Research Collaborative at the CUNY Graduate Center.

Sponsored the Reed College Committee on Sexuality and Gender Studies. Free and open to the public.

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