Monday, January 13, 2014

Lecture " Thailand as Transgender ‘Mecca’: Transnational Imaginaries of Gender Reassignment" at Pitt, January 23.

The University of Pittsburgh's Women's Studies Program and Asian Studies Center will host Aren Aizura of Arizona State University and his lecture "Thailand as Transgender 'Mecca': Transnational Imaginaries of Gender Reassignment" on January 23. To quote from the above flyer:
Thailand is often described as the global "Mecca" of gender reassignment surgery, which cater almost exclusively to trans women-transitioning from male to female, although one or two surgeons cater to trans men.

This talk looks at Thailand's gender reassignment surgery clinics as part of a transnational imaginary of gender reassignment. This transnational imaginary consists in communities and connections that form across national boundaries, and that circulate practices, ideas, fantasies, anecdotes and information about gender reassignment across the uneven spaces of global/local modernity. Drawing on ethnographic research in gender clinics in Thailand and with trans women and men who obtained gender reassignment surgery there, the talk considers how understandings of Orientalized Thai femininity structured non-Thai patients' experiences of care, community, and transition in the space of the clinic and in tourist encounters with Thailand. By questioning the economic, colonial, and racial relations of "transgender travel", this research contributes a critical voice to the emerging field of transnational transgender studies.
The lecture is at 4:00 pm in room 602 of the Cathedral of Learning.