Northwestern Events Calendar


Finn Enke: "Starting Where We Are: A Graphic Exploration of Transfeminist Histories and Contemporary Practice"

When: Thursday, October 10, 2019
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Central

Where: Harris Hall, Room 108, 1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Eliot Colin   (847) 491-5871

Group: Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Historical analysis invites the voices of past visionaries but also presents profound challenges to contemporary communities yearning for justice in a time of intolerable violences and uncertain futures. Feminists have long recognized that coalitional practice toward a more sustainable present and future requires the ongoing struggle among us to recognize our differences: where we came from, the conditions of our arrival, and who we are now. Yet how do we listen to each other in the present when our respective notions of the past seem to erase something on which the other depends? Are we even sitting at the same table, when we relate so differently to the spatial and social geometries that shape our stories?

This talk uses images from Enke’s graphic inquiry of a transgender childhood in the 1970s—the “hay day” of feminism and prior to the languages of transgender-- to explore the contours of transfeminist histories, methodologies and pedagogies. Calling for a more expansive and dynamic past is to call on the present as a place of practice with all our “cables to rage,” awkward efforts to create language for what cannot (yet) be articulated, and multivalent visions of justice.

Finn Enke is Professor of History, Gender and Women’s Studies, and LGBTQ+ Studies at University of Wisconsin, Madison. Author of Finding the Movement: Sexuality, Contested Space and Feminist Activism (Duke University Press, 2007), and editor of Transfeminist Perspectives Within and Beyond Transgender and Gender Studies (Temple University Press, 2012), Enke’s current work includes a graphic memoir, With Finn and Wing: Growing Up Amphibious in a Nuclear Age, and an essay and comic collection, Transfeminist Pedagogies.

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