Trans Studies speaker photos

Trans Studies Speaker Series

The Mills College Trans Studies Speaker Series, hosted by Emmy-Award winner Susan Stryker, Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women's Leadership, offers a regular public forum for exploring transgender issues with some of today's leading thinkers, artists, and activists. All Trans Studies Speaker Series events are being held online and are free and open to the public. Be sure to check individual event listings to confirm the start time.

The Trans Studies Speaker Series is co-sponsored by Trans Studies @ Mills College, Distinguished Chair Susan Stryker, Mills Performing Arts, and the History and Race, Gender and Sexuality Studies departments at Mills College. For more information, email

2020 Trans Studies Speaker Series

Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen, A Film Screening and Discussion between Director Sam Feder and Susan Stryker
Wednesday, September 9, 2020 
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen is a 2019 Netflix Original documentary film directed by Sam Feder and Executive Producer Laverne Cox, featuring clips from more than a century of transgender cinematic representation and commentary by leading contemporary transgender voices including Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Jen Richards, and Angelica Ross. The screening begins at 6:00 pm PDT, followed by a discussion and audience Q&A featuring director Sam Feder, consulting producer and Mills Distinguished Chair Susan Stryker, and additional cast and crew members.

The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers, A Conversation between South African Author Mark Gevisser and Susan Stryker
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 
In his book The Pink Line, South African journalist Mark Gevisser (A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream) traces a planet-spanning fissure that runs through the intimate dimensions of life, documenting the sometimes literally war-torn rift zones where so-called "traditional values" are being mobilized by states to combat trans, queer, and feminist social movements. Join the Mark Gevisser and host Susan Stryker for a conversation about the weaponization of trans issues in these "pink line" struggles.

Stalled! Project, A Conversation between Joel Sanders, Seb Choe and Susan Stryker
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 
Joel Sanders (professor, Yale School of Architecture, and principal, Joel Sanders Architects) is founder of MixDesign, an inclusive design firm that tackles social justice from a design perspective. With Seb Choe (associate director, MixDesign) and team member Susan Stryker, Sanders will be discussing the Stalled! Project, which proposes public toilet design prototypes that can accommodate a wide range of users. MixDesign’s more recent work explores the need for post-pandemic designs for college campuses.

Confessions of the Fox, A Conversation between Author Jordy Rosenberg and Susan Stryker
Presented in conjunction with We Are the Voices

Thursday, November 5, 2020 
Jordy Rosenberg (professor of English, University of Massachusetts, Amherst) had a breakout success with his first novel, 2018’s Confessions of the Fox, a faux memoir of the 18th-century folk hero Jack Sheppard (the real-life inspiration for the Mack the Knife character in Brecht’s Threepenny Opera) who is discovered to be a transmasculine person. Rosenberg will be in conversation with Distinguished Chair Susan Stryker, whose fall seminar at Mills is "Trans-Historical Meta-Fictional Narrative in Jordy Rosenberg’s Confessions of the Fox."

About Susan Stryker

Portrait of Susan StrykerSusan Stryker holds the Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women's Leadership at Mills College, 2020–22. She is professor emerita of gender and women's studies at the University of Arizona and was a Presidential Fellow at Yale University in 2019–20.

An award-winning scholar and filmmaker whose historical research, theoretical writing, and creative works have helped shape the cultural conversation on transgender topics since the early 1990s, Stryker earned her PhD in United States history at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992. She later held a Ford Foundation/Social Science Research Council post-doctoral fellowship in sexuality studies at Stanford University, and has been a distinguished visiting faculty member at Harvard University; Yale University; Northwestern University; Johns Hopkins University; University of California, Santa Cruz; Macquarie University in Sydney; and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

Stryker is the author, co-author, editor, or co-editor of numerous books and anthologies, including Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (Chronicle 1996), Queer Pulp: Perverse Passions in the Golden Age of the Paperback (Chronicle 2000), The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2006), The Transgender Studies Reader 2 (Routledge 2013), and Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (Seal Press 2008, 2017).

Stryker's accolades include an Emmy Award for the documentary film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria (Frameline/ITVS 2005), a Lambda Literary Award for the co-edited anthology The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2006), and the Ruth Benedict Book Prize for co-edited anthology The Transgender Studies Reader 2 (Routledge 2013). She is founding co-editor of the academic journal TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. In addition to developing and consulting on various media projects, Stryker’s current work in process is Changing Gender: A Trans History of North America, under contract to Farrar Straus Giroux.

Related Events

The Mills College Trans Studies Speaker Series, in collaboration with UC Berkeley Associate Professor of English Grace Lavery, is cohosting a series of online, themed conversations between trans studies scholars. These conversations are organized by Professor Lavery as a complement to her trans studies graduate seminar, but are open to the public. Event times and details to come.

Anyone who is interested in attending is welcome. Please email to request access. Please include a couple of sentences on how you expect the symposia to help you with your work.