Julian Gill-Peterson to speak at Penn State on Oct. 24

October 16, 2018

Julian Gill-Peterson, assistant professor of English and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies at the University of Pittsburgh and author of “Histories of the Transgender Child,” will present a lecture titled “The Intersex and Trans Invention of Gender: On Children’s Self-Determination” at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24 in 067 Willard Building, University Park.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

Julian Gill-Peterson
IMAGE: Provided by Julian Gill-Peterson

During the lecture, Gill-Peterson will explore the contemporary concept of gender and its origin in mid-20th century medicine – a time during which many transgender and intersex children fell victim to ethically problematic and dehumanizing clinical research, and medical professionals frequently dismissed the knowledge and experiences of these young people. Gill-Peterson will explain how understanding this history offers valuable resources for evaluating current medical practices and imagining what childhood gender self-determination should look like.

Gill-Peterson’s lecture is the first in a yearlong series titled “The Clinic and Elsewhere: Critical Conversations on Trans and Intersex Wellness.”  This series seeks to bring nationally recognized scholars to campus to discuss the challenges and harms facing many trans and intersex persons when trying to access health and wellness services, particularly in light of changes to the Affordable Care Act that weaken protections for trans persons.

“Now is a critical time to examine the ways that our health care system too often fails trans and intersex individuals,” said Hilary Malatino, Penn State assistant professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and a research associate in the Rock Ethics Institute. “The goal of the lecture series is to bring attention to these failures and think through strategies for addressing them.”

Additional speakers slated to appear this year include Ellen Feder  (American University),  Aren Aizura (University of Minnesota), Katrina Karkazis (Yale University), Susan Stryker (University of Arizona), and Eric Plemons (University of Arizona).

The yearlong series is sponsored by The Rock Ethics Institute, which was established in 2001 through a $5 million gift from Doug and Julie Rock to the College of the Liberal Arts.  The institute’s mission is to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University.

For more information on the lecture series, contact Malatino at hjm30@psu.edu.

Last Updated October 18, 2018