World Shakespeare Congress 2021, Singapore
Roundtable on Gender and Sexuality: The State of the Fields, July 19, 2021
This roundtable highlights a variety of approaches currently animating studies of gender and sexuality in performance studies, queer philology, trans theory, and queer theory. Here is an excerpt from Alexa Alice Joubin’s remarks:
Gender expression that does not match prevailing gender norms is a recurring motif in Shakespeare’s plays. Because the Western canon has historically been given various forms of moral authority, Shakespeare has been used by trans-identified performers and feminists as a tool to deconstruct the gender binary and to challenge the institutionalized cis-sexism.
The early modern gender ambiguity enables our contemporary culture to give some of the characters an elastic inflection in the art of becoming their new selves. Recent studies have shown that trans identities are far from an exclusively recent phenomenon. Read more about Alexa’s presentation here.
This roundtable is organized by Valerie Traub. Speakers include Alexa Alice Joubin, Kumiko Hilberdink-Sakamoto, Judy Celine Ick, Madhavi Menon, and Marjorie Rubright.
Every five years, the World Shakespeare Congress regenerates understandings of Shakespeare across the world, bringing together scholars whose geo-cultural vantage points for working with Shakespeare both overlap and differ.
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