Transnationalising Queer, Trans and Disability Studies

Key information

Start date
End date
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Centre for Gender Studies

Module overview

"From a cultural and media studies perspective, this module is designed to introduce to the fields of transgender and disability studies with focus on queer and feminist approaches. How can underlying norms and normalising everyday practices regarding ablebodiedness, ability, sexuality and binary gender be analysed, changed, questioned and abolished?

Transnationalism and the question what a transnational perspective adds, changes or challenges when analysing norms of trans/gender, ability, disability and embodiment play a central role in the course. We will discuss knowledge productions from Western contexts and the Global South alike and question paradigms of Eurocentrism/US-centrism in the fields of transgender, queer and disability studies. The module aims to show in which ways trans and crip perspectives are relevant for scholarship and activism on gender and sexuality and foregrounds a critical perspective on racism, nationalism and colonialism in its overall approach. Moreover, it provides reflections on cultural and media studies methodologies, including how to deal with difficult/shocking content, trigger warnings, spectatorship, language use and questions of access/non-access to visual/audio material.

Topics include transgender embodiment and identity; transitioning; trans and crip rights; intersex; gender non-binary; racism and body stereotypes; decolonising queer, trans and disability studies; death, illness, injury and debility; bodies under war and occupation; crip theory; theories of body norms; vulnerability; fat studies; race, slavery and medical practice; cure and anti-cure approaches; subjectivity and anti-normativity; body modification; trans and queer migration and diaspora studies; feminist embodiment theories; freak shows, colonial exhibitions and spectatorship; biopolitics and necropolitics; hate crimes; prothesis, missing body parts and cyborgs; trigger warnings and difficult spectatorship; environmentalism etc.


The module will be taught over 10 weeks with one 1 hour lecture and one 1 hour seminar per week

Scope and syllabus

• Race, Slavery and Medical Practice
• Freak shows, colonial exhibitions and spectatorship
• Toxicity, Environmentalism and Disability
• Cancer, Surgeries and Gendered Bodies
• Transgender, Gender non-binary and Migration/Diasporic non/belonging
• Trans Studies as Queer Studies’ ‘Evil Twin’?
• Trans, Gender and Feminism: Overlaps and Contradictions
• Disability, Debility, Injury and Illness in the Context of War and Occupation
• The ‘Natural Body’? protheses, missing body parts, sex toys and cyborgs
• Necropolitics and Queer/Trans/Crip Survival

Method of assessment

Assignment one (1500 words); 30%
Assignment two (3000 words); 70%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules