This lecture looks at trans childhoods and civic learning in elementary schools amid the rise of laws banning discussion about gender and sex.
Amid legislation banning discussions about gender and sexuality in classrooms, the US is embroiled in debates over the meaning of gender in civic life and education. Here, the conditions surrounding transgender youth in education make us question fundamentally the institutional regulation of childhood and the function of schooling. This lecture will look into how trans people are positioned as unmanageable subjects in K-12 schools in the United States. This phrase has an intentional double meaning, referencing 1) the treatment of transgender existence as a taboo topic and 2) the challenges trans children pose to the institutional regulation of gender. How might educators embrace unmanageability? What might it look like to practice education that resists rigidly scripting the world, including who children are allowed to be and become within it?
Image: summer school cooperation between Stanford Teacher Education Program and the Sunnyvale Public School District, Sunnyvale (CA), United States, 2015.
Harper B. Keenan (he/him) is an Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, where he serves as the inaugural Robert Quartermain Professor of Gender and Sexuality in Education. Keenan’s research examines how adults and children relate to each other within the structures of schooling and other educational contexts. He is particularly interested in the treatment of social and historical topics as complex and/or difficult with regard to the education of young children, and in what this might more broadly reveal about our society.REGISTER HERE
This lecture is part of Design Educators* Unite!—a lecture series for design teachers, researchers, and students that shares feminist practices from within.
The lecture series is accessible through a sliding-scale price structure:
- Solidarity: CHF 280
- Standard: CHF 140
- Student: CHF 70
- BIPoC+Student: CHF 35
If you can afford it, please consider paying the solidarity price to support Futuress’ free learning and publishing program. For students with limited finances, particularly those self-identifying as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and majority world, we offer a BIPOC+ student price. We trust your honesty and do not require proof of self-identification for enrollment.
For institutions keen on facilitating their students’ and staff’s participation, we provide discounted passes. Should your institution express interest please contact email@example.com. We are more than happy to tailor an offer to your specific needs.
By registering for this lecture series, you not only enter a transnational community centered around design politics, but you also support the work of commissioning, editing, and publishing original counter-narratives, and help to finance our free online learning program.
Feb 22 | 6 pm CET – special free event
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Mar 21 | 6 pm CET
Otherwise Realities: Communal Care, Decolonization, and The Design School
with Layla Gharib (she/her)
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Apr 4 | 6 pm CEST
Unmanageable Subjects: Trans Childhoods and Civic Learning in the Elementary Classroom
with Harper B. Keenan (he/him)
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Apr 11 | 6 pm CEST
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with Sloan Leo Cowan (they/he)
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May 2 | 6 pm CEST
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and Emilia Odriozola (she/her)
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