CFP: [Gender Studies] Bailey Controversy (10/29/07; NWSA, 6/19/08-6/22/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Joelle Ruby Ryan
contact email:

The Bailey Brouhaha: Community Members Speak Out on
Resisting Transphobia and Sexism in Academia and

For this panel, I invite individuals to submit
abstracts who are interested in presenting papers
about the controversy surrounding J. Michael Bailey
and his theories regarding the lives and identities of
transgender/transsexual women. While Bailey’s book
The Man Who Would be Queen was released in 2003 to
overwhelmingly negative reviews, the book caused a
stir for its assertion that trans women can be split
into two groupings: “homosexual transsexuals” and
“autogynephilics.” Trans activists and allies
mobilized and took Bailey to task for his bogus claims
and helped to document a compelling case against him.
Many considered it an open-and-shut case until the
2007 appearance of an article by Bailey colleague and
intersex researcher Alice Dreger, who published a
lengthy apologia for Bailey in the Archives of Sexual
Behavior and castigated trans women activists for
their attempts at “ruining” Bailey.

Possible paper topics may include (but are not limited

• The colonization of trans bodies and identities by
non-trans academics
• The invisibility of transpeople in academia
• the vital importance of resisting “Master
Narratives” like those produced by Bailey, Dreger et.
• The role of “Science” in perpetuating transphobia
and sexism
• The mobilization by the trans community
post-publication of The Man Who Would Be Queen as a
unique liberatory project in the history of
transgender activism, including the Internet and the
• An analysis of the work performed by specific trans
advocates in the wake of the Bailey fiasco, such as
Andrea James, Lynn Conway and Deirdre McCloskey
• (dis)similarities between The Man Who would be Queen
and Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire
• How the discourse of Bailey, Dreger et. Al. helps to
further a chilly climate for transpeople in academia
and in society as a whole
• The sexism in J. Michael Bailey’s book The Man Who
Would Be Queen
• The interrelationship between misogyny, heterosexism
and transphobia
• Bailey’s connection to eugenics and reparative
therapy and its impact on trans communities
• Bailey’s alleged research misconduct, including sex
with a trans woman research subject

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Joelle
Ruby Ryan ( no later than Monday,
October 29, 2007. Please write NWSA Proposal in the
Subject Line. Please include a 250-500 word proposal
description, a brief bio and a 50-100 word abstract
and the following info:


Institutional Affiliation




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Received on Tue Sep 18 2007 - 15:57:50 EDT

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