With the rise of the dialogue around the decolonisation of tertiary institutions, we are raising the question of what this means for degendering our minds and bodies. More critically, what does this mean for black trans* and genderqueer bodies? Previous action around problematising our understanding of gender has always privileged a cisgender lens. We want to make it clear that true decolonisation will remain unattainable so long as this oversight exists. Decolonisation necessarily requires degendering which necessarily requires decisgendering.
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia taking place on Sunday 17 May enjoins US to visit anew questions around gender. The questions we need to ask are what does “gender decolonisation” mean? What does it look like? What are the micro and macro-aggressive experiences of trans* and gender non-conforming students on campus and how can the institution address these? Are we seeking, yet again, another “normative”? How can the physical and non-physical spaces be reconfigured in a manner which is inclusive of all forms of gender variance expression? What is the role of allies in this reconfiguration?
To begin addressing these questions the #TheBlackTransCollectiveUCT has partnered up with Gender DynamiX and the African Gender Institute to host a seminar simply titled “Disrupting Gender" to take place 18 May 2015 at the Centre for African Studies at UCT’s Upper Campus. This seminar, which will borrow insights from the AGI’s introductory course AXL1001S to critically interrogate how trans*, genderqueer and intersex bodies disrupt our perceptions of gender as a social fact.
Director of the African Gender institute, Associate Professor Jane Bennet will start off by guide our thoughts through the process of interrogating and disrupting our preconceived understandings of gender. This will be followed by Sbusiso Kheswa, Executive Director of Gender DynamiX, who will facilitate an open discussion.
This seminar is the start of a 3 part series on degendering. The seminar 2 will investigate how the status quo conception of gender structures the experiences of trans*. Genderqueer and intersex persons at UCT. The last part of the series will them seek to use insights from the proceeding seminars to come up with grassroots based solutions for the exclusion and alienation of gender non-binary students, staff and workers.
Please join us at the events below:
Gabrielle Le Roux Screening and Showing in Collaboration with Gender DynamiX and RainbowUCT
Date: Thursday, 14 May 2015
Time: 17h30 - 19h30
Venue: Leslie Social 2B
Light snacks will be served
Seminar: Disrupting Gender
Presented by Director of AGI, Associate Professor Jane Bennet and facilitated by Executive Director of Gender DynamiX, Sbusiso Khewsa.
Date: Monday, 18 May 2015
Time: 17h30 for 18h00 until 20h00
Venue: CAS Gallery, Harry Oppenheimer Building, UCT upper campus