Trans Studies Conference

Please join us for

Destitution and Power: the Trans Experience

03.31.2023 – 04.01.2023

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) at Hopkins is proud to host this exciting new conference celebrating contributions in trans scholarship. All are invited to join us on Trans Day of Visibility, 2:00pm-6:00pm Friday, March 31st and 9:00am-5:30pm Saturday, April 1st at the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy.

About the Conference

The conference, Destitution and Power: the Trans Experience, poses necessary questions of visibility and representation: Can the trans person speak—and be heard? How does one show up and show themselves as trans? How and when is the other perceived as trans? What are the difficulties and opportunities of finding language for trans narratives? What would—or does—a trans world look like? From art and the media to philosophy and literature, from anecdotal experience to social implications, key figures in trans studies come together to recognize the achievements, individuate social urgencies and map the work still needed to attain equitable representation for trans people, including two-spirit, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, non-binary… people. The speakers are at the forefront of critical theory and provide important insights in the widespread debates on medical, architectural, and legal decisions that democratic institutions currently face.

Keynote Addresses by Jack Halberstam and Sandy Stone

List of Speakers

Featured speakers at the conference include:

Tatiana Avesani, Noa Ben-Asher, Sayan Bhattacharya, Jo Giardini, Jules Gill-Peterson, Jack Halberstam, Ariana Katz, Katrin Pahl, Ahmed Ragab, Laurence A. Rickels, Oli Rodriguez, Bishakh Som, Sandy Stone, Calvin Warren, and Perry Zurn

Feature: Sharing Sandy Stone’s Story

Four members of the film team behind GIRL ISLAND will discuss making a film, graphic novel and audiobook about the fascinating life of Sandy Stone, the sound engineer, scholar, media theorist, and performance artist most often credited with founding the discipline of transgender studies and interdisciplinary practices. The panel includes the film’s Director Marjorie Vecchio, Art Director of Animation and Graphic Artist Bishakh Som, and Film Scholar and Voice Actor Florence Martin, moderated by Heather Kelley.

Conference Schedule of Events

All events will be held at the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy in room Bloomberg 272.

Friday, March 31st

2:00pm – 2:15pm

2:15pm – 2:30pm
Welcome: Erin Fox

2:30pm – 3:30pm
Session 1: Sayan Bhattacharya, “Laboring Everyday: Violence, Care and a Trans Social” and Rabbi Ariana Katz, “From Creation Onward: Jewish Stories of Trans Lives”

3:45pm – 4:30pm
Session 2: First Keynote, Sandy Stone

4:40pm – 6:00pm
Session 3: Art Projection by Bishakh Som, Clips from GIRL ISLAND, and Marjorie Vecchio, Florence Martin, Bishakh Som, “Adventures on GIRL ISLAND: Sharing Sandy Stone’s Story”

Saturday, April 1st

8:30am – 9:00am

9:00am – 10:00am
Session 1: Noa Ben Asher, “Gender Identity, The New Legal Sex” and Perry Zurn, “Trans Inclusive Policies and Problems”

10:10am – 11:10am
Session 2: Laurence A. Rickels, “The Better Part of Squalor”

11:15am – 12:15pm
Session 3: Katrin Pahl, “Blood Run Beech Read” and Tatiana Avesani, “Orpheus Traversed”

12:15pm – 1:15pm
Lunch with Trans and Gender Expansive Initiatives at Hopkins: Abbey Nawrocki, Rhys Benson, Ryan Warwick, Jeremy Cavanagh, and Nili Abtahi

1:15pm – 2:45pm
Session 4: Jules Gill-Peterson,“Unfinishing Trans History at Johns Hopkins”, Ahmed Ragab, “A long history of a gender continuum”, and Jo Giardini, “A ‘Local’ History of Gender Identity: Preliminary Notes on the Clinic”

2:50pm – 3:50pm
Session 5: Second Keynote, Jack Halberstam, “Trans after Trans*”

4:00pm – 5:25pm
Session 6: Calvin Warren, “Black Trans: A Speculative Enterprise” and Art Projection by Oli Rodriguez

5:25pm – 5:30pm
Closing: Abbey Nawrocki & Elisa Santucci

Conference Co-Sponsors

Thank you to our co-sponsors who have already committed to supporting this conference! Interested in co-sponsoring? Email ODI Postdoctoral Fellow, Elisa Santucci!

Events Celebrating Trans Identities

In the week leading up to Destitution & Power: The Trans Experience, please consider supporting some of these events across the Baltimore area. Click through the tabs below to learn more!

Gender Affirming Closet Launch

Gender & Sexuality Resources at Hopkins is launching a Gender Affirming Closet and will be hosting a launch reception on Tuesday, March 28 from 6:00pm-8:00pm. For more information, visit our Gender Affirming Closet page!

Bacchae Before

The Department of the History of Art at Hopkins is excited to host the below events as part of Bacchae Before, a trans-centered engagement with the 5th century BCE Greek Tragedy, Bacchae, by Euripides.

Tuesday, March 28, 6:15pm at Merrick Barn: Open Process: Responding to Anti-trans Legislation through Art (with Hope Mohr, Maxe Crandall, and Silk Worm)

Thursday, March 30, and Friday, March 31, 8:00pm at Merrick Barn: Live performance of Bacchae Before (free entrance) — learn more about Bacchae Before here

TDOV with Morgan State

For Trans Day of Visibility (TDOV), the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Morgan State University is offering a viewing and discussion of the documentary, Disclosure.

The screening will be held on March 31 from 5:00pm-7:30pm at BSSC 100.

Contact Professor T.L. Tillman for more information: [email protected]


VIVID is “a trans femme and queer led group exhibition that weaves art & data to (re)tell stories told about us, our own vivid science”, in partnership with the LITE & ENCORE studies.

The opening reception will be held on March 10 from 6:00pm-9:00pm at Gallery CA: 440 E Oliver Street, Baltimore, MD 21202, and the exhibition will close on March 31, Transgender Day of Visibility.

For more information, visit VIVID’s Facebook page.