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Gender(s): Kathryn Bond Stockton in a lunchtime conversation with Dr. Lauran Whitworth

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

This event takes place on crowdcast, Charis' virtual event platform. Register here. 

Charis welcomes Kathryn Bond Stockton in a lunchtime conversation with Dr. Lauran Whitworth for a celebration of Gender(s). Why gender is strange, even when it's played straight, and how race and money are two of its most dramatic ingredients. This event is co-sponsored by the Agnes Scott College WGSS Department.

In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Kathryn Bond Stockton explores the fascinating, fraught, intimate, morphing matter of gender. Stockton argues for gender's strangeness, no matter how "normal" the concept seems; gender is queer for everyone, she claims, even when it's played quite straight. And she explains how race and money dramatically shape everybody's gender, even in sometimes surprising ways. Playful but serious, erudite and witty, Stockton marshals an impressive array of exhibits to consider, including dolls and their new gendering, the thrust of Jane Austen and Lil Nas X, gender identities according to women's colleges, gay and transgender ballroom scenes, and much more.

Stockton also examines gender in light of biology's own strange ways, its out-of-syncness with "male" and "female," explaining attempts to fortify gender with clothing, language, labor, and hair. She investigates gender as a concept--its concerning history, its bewitching pleasures and falsifications--by meeting the moment of where we are, with its many genders and counters-to-gender. This compelling background propels the question that drives this book and foregrounds race: what is "the opposite sex," after all? If there is no opposite, doesn't the male/female duo undergirding gender come undone?

Kathryn Bond Stockton is Distinguished Professor of English and inaugural Dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation at the University of Utah. She is the author of Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where “Black” Meets “Queer, The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century (both finalists for the Lambda Literary Award in LGBT Studies), and Making Out (finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Award for memoir), among other books.

Dr. Lauran Whitworth (she/her or they/them) is an Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Co-Director of the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program at Agnes Scott College. Her scholarly work has appeared in Feminist Theory, Intersections: Women's and Gender Studies in Review Across Disciplines, and Her current book project, Environmental Eros: Picturing Feminist, Queer, and Trans Ecologies, brings together gender and sexuality studies, environmental studies, and film studies. Prior to earning her Ph.D., Lauran taught high school English for several years. When she isn’t teaching, grading papers, and serving on faculty committees, Professor Whitworth enjoys gardening, watching films, and hiking with her partner and their dog.

This event is free and open to all people, especially to those who have no income or low income right now, but we encourage and appreciate a solidarity donation in support of the work of Charis Circle, our programming non-profit. Charis Circle's mission is to foster sustainable feminist communities, work for social justice, and encourage the expression of diverse and marginalized voices.

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Event address: 
Gender(s) (The MIT Press Essential Knowledge series) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780262542609
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: The MIT Press - August 31st, 2021

Why gender is strange, even when it's played straight, and how race and money are two of its most dramatic ingredients.

Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame: Where
ISBN: 9780822337966
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Duke University Press - July 1st, 2006

Shame, Kathryn Bond Stockton argues in Beautiful Bottom, Beautiful Shame, has often been a meeting place for the signs "black" and "queer" and for black and queer people--overlapping groups who have been publicly marked as degraded and debased. But when and why have certain forms of shame been embraced by blacks and queers? How does debasement foster attractions?

The Queer Child: Or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century (Series Q) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780822343868
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Duke University Press - October 20th, 2009

Children are thoroughly, shockingly queer, as Kathryn Bond Stockton explains in The Queer Child, where she examines children's strangeness, even some children's subliminal "gayness," in the twentieth century.

Avidly Reads Making Out Cover Image
ISBN: 9781479843275
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New York University Press - October 8th, 2019

Avidly Reads is a series of short books about how culture makes us feel. Founded in 2012 by Sarah Blackwood and Sarah Mesle, Avidly-an online magazine supported by the Los Angeles Review of Books-specializes in short-form critical essays devoted to thinking and feeling.

Event Summary: 
Why gender is strange, even when it's played straight, and how race and money are two of its most dramatic ingredients. This event is co-sponsored by the Agnes Scott College WGSS Department.