Sexuality and gender, urban US, grassroots political movements, outer space, futurity,
I am a cultural and linguistic anthropologist with interests in gender, sexuality, US social movements and politics, and conceptions of the future. My first research project was an ethnographic investigation of the category "transgender" in the 1990s, where I examined how the emergence of this term enabled activists and others to imagine a new calibration of gender and sexuality vis a vis one another in order to work toward a more just world for gender variant individuals. However, in my book, I argue that this vision carries with it assumptions about gender and sexuality that reinforce racial and class hierarchies that, ironically, negatively impact the most vulnerable transgender-identified people -- young, poor, people of color. I continue this line of work with colleagues in the University's medical school doing online research with men who have sex with transgender men and women. My new major research project extends my interest in imagination and human futures by focusing on commercial outer space entrepreneurs where I am investigating the social consequences of imagining the human species transformed by permanent settlement off world. I have been doing pilot research since 2009, and will continue the project in a three year longitudinal study starting in summer 2011.