A Transgender Turn in Victorian Studies: Reconceptualizing Gender Identities in Nineteenth-Century British Literary Culture
March 22, 2021 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
UW System Fellow (2020-2021)
English; Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, UW-Milwaukee at Waukesha
The central argument of this book is twofold: first, Victorian studies scholars must fundamentally reconceptualize our understanding of nineteenth-century gender to account for the possibility of movement between, across, and among genders; and, second, we must use this understanding to consider the possibilities of trans narratives within the diversity of gender identities represented in Victorian literature, periodicals, and authorial personae. In centering transgender identities that redefine and remake sexed and gendered bodies, my project argues that the discipline of Victorian studies must bring to the fore the ways in which the oppositional, binary discourses of gender necessarily reveal their own contradictions in the form of bodies and genders that refuse to fit into one of only two gender identities.
Lisa Hager is an Associate Professor of English and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha, where she directs the LGBTQIA Resource Center. Her current book project looks at the intersections of transgender studies and Victorian studies, and she has published articles on Victorian sexology, the New Woman, aestheticism and decadence, steampunk, digital humanities, and trans and queer studies.