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