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A Transgender Turn in Victorian Studies: Reconceptualizing Gender Identities in Nineteenth-Century British Literary Culture

March 22 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

White woman with black glasses and very short brown and gray hair smiling at the camera and wearing a blue cardigan and white collared shirt with polka dots against a white background.Monday Seminar:

Lisa Hager

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.


[Due to COVID-19, this event has been moved to a digital conferencing platform. To participate please send an email with your name, university affiliation, and how you heard about the event to IRH at info@irh.wisc.edu.]


March 22
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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