Trans Theory Conference

Andrea Pitts's picture
Call for Papers
October 5, 2018 to October 6, 2018
District Of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields: 
Area Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Sexuality Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Trans Theory Conference

2nd Biennial Conference of the Trans Philosophy Project

October 5-6, 2018

American University, Washington D.C.


Call for Proposals

Submission Deadline: April 15th, 2018

Over the past two decades, with the publication of ​The Transgender Studies Reader ​1 and 2 (2006; 2013) and ​TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly​, transgender studies has quickly become a prominent interdisciplinary field. While disciplines such as history, literature, and visual arts have made significant contributions to this emerging field, philosophy has yet to clarify its role within transgender studies. The aim of this conference will be to continue to explore what might be called "trans philosophy" – that is, philosophical work that is accountable to and illuminative of transgender experiences,​ ​histories,​ ​cultural​ ​production,​ ​and​ ​politics.

The Trans Theory  Conference builds on the first conference of the Trans Philosophy Project, “Trans Experience in Philosophy,” which occurred in May 2016 at the University of Oregon under the direction of Megan Burke, Fulden Ibrahimhakkioglu, and Amy Marvin. This was the first philosophy conference in the U.S. devoted to trans experiences and was peopled predominantly by trans presenters and attendees. The Trans Theory Conference 2018 will be hosted at American University and plans to include participation from local D.C. organizations. The conference will also highlight significant trans-related philosophical themes in U.S. politics such as recent anti-trans legislation and policy proposals, and the geopolitics of trans life in the U.S. South.

Papers engaging trans experiences and perspectives, broadly construed, from all theoretical approaches (especially philosophy) are welcome. Priority will be given to submissions with an intersectional emphasis, and, when relevant, an emphasis on those directly affected by or self-reflectively allied with trans persons. Topics to consider may include, but are not limited to:

  • Trans experiences at the intersections of race, class, sexuality, disability, incarceration, religion, nationality, coloniality, etc.

  • Trans perspectives/embodiment/narratives/methodologies

  • Patterns of trans inclusivity/exclusivity

  • Trans affirmation and language

  • Debates between feminist theory and transgender studies

  • Transfeminism/queer feminism

  • Barriers/borders/thresholds

  • Transphobia/cisnormativity/privilege

  • State violence/imperial expansion/militarization

  • Academic obstacles for trans scholarship/critical pedagogy

  • Liminality/fluidity/alterity/ambiguity

  • Pathologization/normalization/administrative violence

  • Trans Disability/Crip critique

  • Trans experiences of sexuality/eros/affect

  • Decolonial transfeminisms/the coloniality of gender

  • Two-spirit identity/Indigenous communities and histories of resistance

  • Transnational and non-Eurocentric framings of embodiment, kinship, and erotic life

  • Trans representation and popular media

  • Sex work/informal economies/global capitalism

  • Nonbinary/gender nonconforming/agender identities and experiences


Please send your submission to by April 15, 2018.

In an attempt to ensure that those who are underfunded or lack adequate financial support are able to participate, limited travel funding is available. Anyone who is in need of travel funding is asked to submit a statement of need along with their application, as well as a budget detailing how they would use the funds. For consideration for travel funds, please send submit all materials by April 15, 2018.


Individual Abstracts

Please submit a completed abstract of no more than 500-750 words for anonymous review. A separate title page with identifying information of the author(s), including electronic address, paper title, and brief author bio should also be submitted. Preference will be given to participants who self-identify as trans (broadly construed).


Panel Abstracts

Please clearly mark your submission as a panel submission both in the body of the e-mail and on the submission itself. Your submission should include the panel title, an abstract of the panel (500-750 words), and abstracts for individual papers (500-750 words per paper). A separate title page with identifying information of the author(s), including electronic address, panel title, paper titles, and author bios should also be submitted. Preference will be given to participants who self-identify as trans (broadly construed).

If you have any questions about the conference, please email the conference organizers Perry Zurn ( and Andrea Pitts (   
Contact Info: