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RCA only

CHS College-wide Symposium: Trans-Formations

9 February 2017 | 2.30pm – 5pm

Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre

The object above is one of many from the crowd-sourced Museum of Transology. Like the ‘fiddle toy’ used to ‘take my mind off negative feelings’ or the present of lipstick, a first marker of acceptance..., these manifold items and expressions provide one way in to the central theme of this symposium: transgender and its expression through object, material, visual and film culture. To 'collect' such expressions opens up the question of how to avoid spectacularising, pathologising or ‘pinning down’ gender variance... (Perhaps an attentiveness is demanded that goes beyond the mantra of ‘multiplicity’ – as captured in Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's invitation to ‘pluralize and specify’?).

This session will explore the way that non-binary gender-identities are built through a process of identification and 'disidentification' with the constructs of imagery, language and narrative that surround us. As Juliet Jacques muses; ‘I might not be in the wrong body, but in the wrong society.’ We hope 'trans-formations' invokes a renewed engagement with cultural forms as well a sense of moving forward. We've invited luminary speakers, who have carved out a space for trans issues in discourse and activism and their talks will capture how these expressions map on to and bounce off social and political contexts and legislation.


Juliet Jacques: Author of Trans- A Memoir on the constraints of trans narratives in mainstream film versus more experimental, underground formats.

EJ Scott: On the curation of the Museum of Transology

Lauren Fried: A V&A/RCA PhD candidate, on the material culture of everyday trans dressing and the relation to ‘performance’