Ghost Dances: A Trans-movement Manifesto

2008 Kessler Lecture
honors Susan Stryker
November 14, 2008; 6-8 PM
The Graduate Center
Proshansky Auditorium
T E S T I M O N I A L S B Y
Paisley Currah
Joanne Meyerowitz

Susan Stryker,
Associate Professor of Gender
Studies at Indiana University
in Bloomington, will deliver
the seventeenth annual David
R. Kessler Lecture in LGBTQ
Studies.
Stryker’s
early
work in
transgender
studies brought together her personal involvement in
San Francisco’s radical sexuality and gender subcultures
in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the emerging
critical framework of queer theory. Her debut article, My
Words to Victor Frankenstein Above the Village of Chamounix,
published in the first volume of GLQ, set the trajectory of
her subsequent theoretical work by addressing the interrelationships
between affect, embodiment, and technology in a performative
manner. Her scholarly articles have appeared in numerous journals ranging
from Parallax to Radical History Review. She guest-edited transgender studies special
issues of GLQ and Women’s Studies Quarterly. Stryker worked for many years as
an independent scholar, public intellectual, media-maker, and served as Executive
Director of the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco between 1999 and 2003.
In addition to her historical research and theoretical texts that helped shape
the academic field of transgender studies, she has also written and made films
about queer sexuality and gender for popular audiences. Stryker’s Emmy-winning
public television documentary Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria
(directed, written, and produced with Victor Silverman) recovered the story of a
pre-Stonewall riot by transgender women against police harassment in San Francisco’s
Tenderloin neighborhood in 1966. She is a two-time Lambda Literary Award
Finalist for her books Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in San Francisco
(co-authored with Jim Van Buskirk) and Queer Pulp: Perverse Passion in the Golden
Age of the Paperback, and a Lambda Literary Award Winner for her anthology The
Transgender Studies Reader (co-edited with Stephen Whittle). Her most recent book,
Transgender History, launched Seal Press’s new Seal Studies line of primer texts on
contemporary issues in feminism.
Stryker is currently visiting faculty at Harvard University in the Committee
on Degrees in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Besides ongoing editorial work,
Stryker is working on a book, Sex Change City: Theorizing Urban Trans/Formation
in San Francisco, and an experimental film, Christine in the Cutting Room, about the
“cinematics of transsexual embodiment” in the work of 1950s celebrity Christine
Jorgensen.