Spring 2019

Transgender Histories

Listed in: , as COLQ-335


Jen Manion (Section 01)


A revolution in transgender rights in the United States is underway. Once marginalized and denigrated by mainstream society, the medical establishment, the legal system, and even the lesbian and gay rights movement, transgender people are increasingly gaining rights and recognition. This seminar will introduce students to transgender representations and experiences in the past as a researchable subject. Students will be introduced to the three dimensions of historic research: theory, method, and archives. The course will focus on the key theories of gender that have informed historic research for the past forty years, the methodological issues involved in conducting research of sexual and gender minority communities, and effective strategies for defining the parameters of a usable archive. Some questions to be engaged include: What is gender? What is transgender? What constitutes a transgender past? How does the historian determine correct terminology for writing? What role does history play in the present or future? Students will write their own prospectus for a research project in transgender history.

This course is part of a model of tutorials at Amherst designed to enable students to engage in substantive research with faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences.

Open to juniors and sophomores interested in research. Limited to 6 students. Spring Semester. Professor Manion.

If Overenrolled: students will be asked to write a brief essay to gain admission.


Attention to Issues of Gender and Sexuality, Attention to Research, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2019