This year, Drew's signature Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquium (TTC) will be a graduate student conference organized by PhD students in the Theological School's Graduate Division of Religion. The theme of the conference is "Trans: Human/Divine Bodies beyond Boundaries," which convenes scholars engaged in various fields of transgender, gender and sexuality studies.
In this conference, we examine trans in two different ways: as transgender theory and the prefix trans as a signifier of method. Transgender identities we understand as those that transcend gender categories, either by crossing between the binaries of masculine and feminine or existing outside the binary completely. Transgender theory integrates the embodiment of lived experiences with the negotiation of socially and individually constructed identities.
Our starting point is transgender theory because of the ways in which it has already modeled the transgressing of bodies and disciplinary categories we hope to engage at TTC this year. Our intention is to honor the work of transgender theorists by inviting conversation, first and foremost, on transgender identities, as well as other transgressive scholarship.
Operating at a nexus of identities, transgender theory invites us to consider the intersectionality of the social roles and locations that individuals and communities occupy in the world. Whether the bodies examined are individual, national, institutional, animal, or otherwise, we invite papers that inhabit non-binary and non-essentialist approaches to their lives and experiences. In addition to papers that engage various terrestrial trans bodies, we also invite papers that engage various divine trans bodies. Examples might include trans representation of the Jewish or Christian bodies of God, of Jesus' bodies, of angelic or other heavenly bodies, or of beatified saintly bodies.
While graduate students will be presenting in this year’s TTC, all communities are invited to attend. We hope this conference encourages scholars, artists, and cultural workers to critique, construct, and engage various permutations of what can be signified by the prefix trans. We especially intend for these critiques, constructions, and engagements to give special attention to how the emergence of transgender theory helps us theorize the use of this prefix "beyond" the particularities of transgender reality.
TTC invites papers from current graduate students that wish to explore pop culture, material culture, mass media, and contemporary scholarship, among other sources. Material should consider the following question: How can transgender theory help to move our understandings of bodies beyond their limiting, normative boundaries?
Submissions of proposals 350 words in length should be emailed to the TTC steering committee: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, no later than Friday, February 23, 2018. Please note that papers should be no more than 15 minutes in length of reading.
Authors of accepted papers will be notified by February 28, 2018.
The conference will be held at Drew Theological School on March 23-24. Please refer to the TTC webpage for scheduling updates.
Banner Artwork: © Hunter Schafer, image used with permission.