Gender is often viewed in the binary of he and she, but gender is a spectrum and has more than two options for those who identify within the spectrum. One speaker is planning to speak on gender and its interaction with college life.
Z Nicolazzo is an assistant professor of trans* studies in education and a co-chair of the Transgender Students Research Cluster at the University of Arizona. She will be giving a lecture called “Un/Seen: Gender, College Going and Transgender Student World-Making” at 8:15 p.m. Monday in the Great Hall in Memorial Union.
During this lecture, she will be speaking about how gender operates in college contexts, including how it is embedded into the structures and myths related to going to college. Another point she will be talking about is what these differences of gender mean for students, specifically the lives and livelihoods of transgender students. She will be lecturing about how transgender students can imagine different kinds of possibilities for their community in their college.
By giving this lecture, Nicolazzo wants to accomplish spreading awareness of the possibilities that could be achieved by imagining a bigger picture regarding gender without college campuses, while also increasing opportunities for transgender students on college campuses.
Nicolazzo said she wants the attendees of the lecture to take the information she gives by presenting her research, current thoughts and current work and decide what kind of impact they can make with the information. Attendees get to decide what they do with the information and how they can translate it into everyday life at Iowa State.
“My goal is to help spark through imagination, but what this leads to is up to those folks who are in attendance and want to try some new approaches,” Nicolazzo said.
These topics are really important to discuss, especially the idea that gender will always be present on college campuses, Nicolazzo said.
“The reality is that gender has always been and will always be present on college campuses; it’s literally in the air we breathe, and the ways that we come to know the world in which we live,” Nicolazzo said.
Gender affects all social institutions, colleges included. In Nicolazzo’s work, she expands the idea of gender, as well as provides platforms for them to be understood. She said when people begin to understand how gender is embedded in their everyday lives, they can then learn how to ask better questions of ourselves and others. They can also change the mainstream concept of gender construct and constrain, which affects life for many people, especially transgender people.
Although the lecture is mainly geared toward gender and the transgender community, Nicolazzo said she wants to spread the message that this lecture is open to anyone with a slight interest in the topic.
“I will be talking about my research, sharing some stories about campus myths and how gender is inflected through those myths, and even talking about Tumblr and the new HBO show Euphoria, so my hope is that there are a couple of different ways into the conversation for anyone who comes,” Nicolazzo said.
This lecture is a part of the Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair series and is sponsored by the School of Education and Committee on Lectures.