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Institute announces three-year collaboration with history professor and trans studies scholar Susan Stryker

head shot of Stryker

The Clayman Institute for Gender Research is pleased and proud to announce the three-year appointment of Susan Stryker, professor emerita of gender and women’s studies at University of Arizona, as distinguished visitor. A leader in the development of trans studies, Stryker’s many books, articles, and films have a wide reach within both academic and public audiences.

“Professor Stryker has been an essential voice in trans studies since before anyone knew about trans studies,” said Adrian Daub, Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute. “As a historian, documentary filmmaker, and archivist, she has shaped the field of LGBTQ+ history in the United States and beyond.”

Under the collaboration, beginning Fall 2024, Stryker will spend part of each year in residence at Stanford, with an office at the Clayman Institute. She will advise and mentor students, deliver guest lectures, participate in workshops and events, organize colloquia or symposia, and deliver at least one public lecture. She also will participate in working groups where her expertise would be relevant, as well as strategizing with staff, faculty, and students around supporting trans issues and developing resources for trans, queer, and feminist scholarship.

Stryker has spent the past year in residence at the Stanford Humanities Center, collaborating extensively with the Clayman Institute and the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies (FGSS), giving numerous public lectures and in-class workshops. Stryker appeared in a May 2023 Clayman Conversations event, “The War on Drag,” to examine new right-wing legislation attacking drag performers, as well as historical and cultural forces leading to the current climate. She also has appeared on both Clayman Institute podcasts, The Feminist Present and In Bed With the Right.

In a March 2023 lecture for the Clayman Institute’s Attneave at Noon series, Stryker discussed her book in progress, including recent research into the history of the gender concept as we now know it, as the "social construction" of sex. Her work revises the conventional narrative that it was first promulgated by sex-researcher John Money in the 1950s, revealing the idea’s wider use in psychology in the 1940s, roots in early 20th-century cultural anthropology and linguistics, and a prehistory in the popular "science" of phrenology in the mid-19th century.

Since retiring from the University of Arizona, Stryker has been presidential fellow and visiting professor of gender, women’s, and sexuality studies at Yale University (2019-2020); Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership, Mills College (2020-2022); and Marta Sutton Weeks External Faculty Fellow, Stanford University Humanities Institute (2022-23). Former executive editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, she continues to serve as co-editor of the Duke University Press book series ASTERISK: gender, trans-, and all that comes after. She is the author of Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (2008, 2017), co-editor of the two-volume Transgender Studies Reader (2006, 2013) and The Transgender Studies Reader Remix (2022), as well as co-director of the Emmy-winning documentary film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005). She is currently working to complete her book manuscript, Changing Gender (under contract to Farrar Straus Giroux), and developing a variety of film and television projects.