Since concluding our presentation last night, I have decided to do a post with some of my reflections on the project.
When we first started, we knew quite quickly that we wanted to do something related to queer theory. Our final outcome “De-Imperialising Gender Identity Terms: A Fragmented Exploration of the ‘Trans’ ‘Experience'”, certainly achieved it. I have really appreciated the opportunity to delve into trans studies literature, particularly the work by Katie Sutton and Susan Stryker. Their research reinforces the interdisciplinary possibilities of trans studies, and, on a personal note, it was exciting to see the importance of German studies to the discipline.
Another area we wanted to include was visual culture, especially film. In the end, we had to leave this out as we decided to spend more time on our case studies in non-English speaking contexts. There certainly could be a version of a presentation, though, in which we studied the representation of trans experiences in American cinema, before contrasting that with other non-Anglo American examples. Where visual culture did come through was the inclusion of Native American performance art, and, frequently, our research into one discipline may have sprung from initially researching art history. Overall, the inclusion and exclusion of visual culture is an interesting demonstration of how interdisciplinary studies can reconfigure assumed links between different areas of knowledge.
We worked well together as a group. Everyone completed their areas of responsibility and brought something new and individual to the presentation. I was particularly impressed to see how members of the group who weren’t so familiar with queer and trans issues learn so much, so quickly.