NeMLA 2019 Panel: "In, Beyond, Between Bodies: Transgender Identity through Interpersonal Spaces in Visual Media"

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

This pre-approved panel is looking for fellow scholars to present at the 2019 NeMLA conference and add to a conversation about transgender representation in visual media.

Panel description: "The visual aspect of physical spaces for the transgender representation in media studies (such as film, television, and video games) has created positive avenues of awareness and expression. Visual media offers unique narrative and artistic possibilities for not only honoring the difficulty of embracing one's trans-identity in a prejudice environment but also transforming that challenge into layered, positive representations. Where does this space allow equal representation for transgender characters to fill the screen with a fleshed-out identity and not become predictable gender stereotypes? Does it meet the Vito Russell test (i.e.: contain a LBGTQ character, not defined by their orientation, and essential to the main plot)?

The visual consideration should be works of transgender representation beyond base physicality. These works should honor transgender identity growth as a deeply social, yet equally individual process of defining oneself through, against, and with one’s interpersonal relationships, environment, and gender fluidity. The body is a form of expression, both intertwined with and separate from gender. Visual media has and continues to explore transgender identity as a process both deeply connected to one’s body and surroundings, yet unattached to a singular physical image.

This panel’s approach is to unpack how visual media—across histories, cultures, and people groups—has generatively presented transgender identities as a multi-layered, moving process across one’s life and spaces."


Please direct all finalized abstracts and questions to Mary Reading, the session's chair, at

If accepted, presenters must become members of NeMLA by December 1, 2018. More information on NeMLA is avaialable at

Dates of conference: March 21-24 Washington D.C.