CFP: [Gender Studies] NWSA 2009, Atlanta, GA (Abstract Due: 2/9/09; Conf. Dates: Nov. 12-15, 2009.)

full name / name of organization: 
Joelle Ruby Ryan
contact email: 
joeller@bgsu.edu

CFP: National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Conference 2009, Atlanta,
GA (Abstract Due: 2/9/09; Conf. Dates: Nov. 12-15, 2009.)

The Case of the Pregnant Man: Examining Transgender Identity, Reproduction
and Cultural Politics in the New Millennium

In April of 2008, Thomas Beatie published an article in The Advocate
entitled “Labor of Love” in which he detailed his experiences as a
transgender man and his decision to conceive and give birth to a baby. The
article provoked a veritable media feeding frenzy and placed not only
Thomas Beatie and his family in the spotlight, but also the issue of
transgender people and reproduction, with the media quickly dubbing him as
the world’s first “pregnant man.” Not surprisingly, those on the right
quickly pounced on Beatie as an example of immorality and cultural decay,
worrying about the impact of his actions on his child and on the future of
traditional gender roles. However, his actions did not go unnoticed by
some on the left, either. Some LGBT advocates worried that his actions
could reflect badly on their image and cause a legal, cultural backlash,
while some feminists felt that childbirth is one of the few provinces that
women have left and now this, too, is being usurped by men. Others see
Beatie as a trailblazer who is bravely opening up new ways to think about
gender, reproduction and parenting options in the new millennium. This
panel aims to examine the Thomas Beatie case from multiple angles,
particularly the multiple viewpoints that his story has engendered from
people of varying political ideologies.
 
Possible paper topics may include (but are not limited to):

• The history of pregnancy and reproduction in the transgender community
• Media and photographic representations of Beatie such as The Oprah
Winfrey Show, Barbara Walter’s 20/20, and People Magazine
• Blogging, Discussion Forums and Listserv discussions of the Beatie case
• Feminist interpretations of the Beatie case
• LGBT responses to the Beatie case, particularly the trans rights
movement
• Theorizing the transgender pregnant body and its cultural implications
• Transgender legal issues and the Beatie case (e.g. Will Beatie’s case
make it harder for transpeople to legally change their gender markers?)
• Discussion of those who believe that Beatie’s decision somehow negates
his self-identity as a man

Proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Joelle Ruby Ryan
(joeller_at_bgsu.edu) no later than Monday, February 9, 2009. Please write
NWSA Proposal in the Subject Line. Please include a brief bio, a 100-200
word abstract and the following contact info: Name, Institutional
Affiliation, Address, Phone and Email. This session is sponsored by the
NWSA Transgender Caucus. Please note I am also looking for a Moderator
for this session.

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Received on Wed Dec 17 2008 - 20:01:45 EST

cfp categories: 
gender_studies_and_sexuality