Duke University to start a transgender dedicated publication


2014 will mark the year that Duke University publishes a journal dedicated to transgender studies, issues, and experiences.

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly will stand as the first non-medical transgender publication and will be devoted to covering all transgender topics of discussion.

The publication will be edited by associate professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona, Susan Stryker, and professor of political science at the Brooklyn College of the City and University of New York, Paisley Currah. The two project leaders are extremely excited for the opportunity and the positive potential the magazine has to offer in spreading awareness and shifting cultural norms.

Set to release five issues in the first year, TSQ will cover a broad range of issues from cultural studies to transgender linguistic communities.

“The first issue will be a collection of short essays on ‘key concepts for a 21st-century transgender studies,’” Stryker said in an interview with 429Magazine. “Our model and inspiration is Raymond Williams’ classic ‘Keywords.’ We really want the first issue to help inaugurate a new conversation about trans topics.”

Stryker, a transgender woman and San Francisco resident, has written many books on the topic and is excited to co-lead the transgender publication at Duke.

“We’re really excited to be working with Duke University Press—they were our first choice of publishers because Duke publishes so many other exciting interdisciplinary journals that we hope to emulate, like the feminist journal ‘differences,’… [and]the queer theory journal GLQ,” Stryker said, as reported by the Duke Chronicle. “Paisley and I were thrilled that Duke saw the same potential in our project that we did.”

Stryker is a historian and author of several books, including Queer Pulp: Perverse Passion in the Golden Age of the Paperback and Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area. Stryker was also a keynote speaker at the 4th Annual California Transgender Leadership Summit in San Francisco in 2009.

“There has not been one place to go to find information on trans issues, but it always shows up in special issues of journals for some other field (public health, psychology, sociology journals) in very episodic ways. And by pulling together in one place, so it’s like, this is where you go for transgender studies,” Stryker said in a video for the TSQ Kickstarter campaign.

She continued, “There needed to be a regular venue, not just irregular special issues of various journals. So we decided to try to launch a journal of our own. We’re really happy that Duke shared our vision for how important this journal can be for shaping the field of transgender studies. It’s going to take things to the next level.”

This publication is trying to change the sparse nature of transgender coverage. Stryker pointed out that transgender issues have only been covered in relation to psychology, medicine, and politics; we see transgender issues in bursts, which cover only small parts of the identity.

This journal is meant to change all of that, and lead an opportunity for transgender people and academic groundbreakers to create a truth-sharing publication that expresses the transgender life beyond politics or medicine.

“We might have a different take on what transgender means and how that works,” Stryker said in the Kickstarter campaign video.

“While we don’t want this to be a ‘by transpeople, for transpeople’ publication—we think we’re doing something broader, about gender diversity and gender complexity rather than being oriented to a small minority of people, we are inspired by that slogan from the disability rights movement, ‘Nothing about us without us,’” she said in an interview.

As of June 6, the Kickstarter campaign has raised $22,266, surpassing its goal of $20,000, and still has 7 days to go.

TSQ will be instrumental in developing this growing and vibrant field and will advance the editorial mission of changing the way the world thinks about transgender issues,” Duke University Press said in a press release, as reported by Duke Chronicle.

TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly is groundbreaking in its own right, for it creates visibility to a population that is normally sidelined.

“Personally, I’m really invested in the idea that having trans experience gives a person an interesting perspective on life, and that it can inform in really productive ways the kinds of research agendas, and forms of knowledge production, that trans scholars engage in. I think our experiences are valuable, and that we have something to say—not that we are merely the object of study in somebody else’s research. I really am interested in changing the conversation on trans issues, moving things farther away from pathologizing frameworks, and helping to create new contexts [with]trans bodies and trans lives.”

The TSQ Kickstarter campaign can be found here.


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