Assistant professor of Gender & Social Justice, Dr. Nael Bhanji is teaming up with professors at two other universities to bring his popular Troubling Trans class to more students across Canada.
Professor Bhanji has taught Troubling Trans for three years at Trent University, a course that explores the ways trans and gender-diverse individuals relate to topics of queerness, feminism, nationalism, colonialism, citizenship, criminalization, race, and capital.
Learning Without Borders
This coming year, Prof. Bhanji, a critical race and trans studies theorist, will work with Dr. Chase Joynt, assistant professor of Gender Studies at the University of Victoria (UVic), and Dr. Dana Seitler, director of the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto (U of T).
“I adapt the course curriculum every year to different contemporary issues as they arise, but this cross-university collaboration is perhaps the most exciting development, in terms of the curriculum and pedagogical approach of this course,” said Prof. Bhanji.
Students taking this course will now experience a unique approach to course delivery, learning from and having access to expertise and resources at each of the participating universities. For example, Trent students will have access to the Transgender Archives at UVic, an internationally renowned archive of activist, political, and personal items from trans history.
“One of the things that we are excited to offer students across the universities is an opportunity to spend time with those collections and to learn with us as we engage with various archival and activist histories and practices,” said Dr. Joynt who specializes in the intersection of media and gender and feminist studies.
Students will also learn from recorded, conversation-style lectures between Prof. Bhanji and Dr. Joynt, who will also lead weekly in-person seminars at their respective universities.
There will also be three recorded lectures provided by U of T’s Mark Bonham Centre, featuring prominent trans scholars, activists, and artists.
Unique opportunities at Trent
As a member of Trent, Prof. Bhanji says unique experiences like this course are possible because of the university’s attitude towards the Gender & Social Justice program.
“I've been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to teach this course in whatever fashion that I thought would be fun,” said Prof. Bhanji. “I think the reason it's been such a great experience, and quite well attended is because of our thriving gender and social justice department at Trent as well as because of the university's broader commitment to emphasizing curricula that addresses equity and diversity, as well as a willingness to think through decolonial approaches to both teaching and learning.”
Troubling Trans (GESO 3150/4150) is a split third- and fourth-year class within the Gender & Social Justice program at Trent.