Trans Studies in Education Speaker Series

The Trans Studies in Education (TSE) Speaker Series is an intitative within the College of Education focused on highlighting transgender and non-binary voices and issues within the field of education. The TSE Speaker Series helps to advance conversations in the College of Education around the experience of LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty and the ways that queer and trans pedagogy can benefit modes of learning and teaching. The TSE Speaker Series aligns with the College’s vision of enhancing education equity by directly centering the lives of trans individuals in the field of education.

The TSE Speaker Series is an example of the College of Education’s ongoing commitment to trans studies. Building on the College’s involvement in the Trans Studies Research Cluster, as well as the increased matriculation of queer and trans students throughout the College’s academic programs, there became an opportunity for the College of Education to invest further in amplifying the voices, experiences, and scholarly endeavors of trans people in and beyond the academy.

Originated through a proposal by faculty in the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE), the TSE Speaker Series is a two-year funded series seeking to make an intervention in how future and current educators think through trans experiences and analytics as a way to imagine education differently. In this manner, the TSE Speaker Series serves not only to amplify trans voices and expertise, but also as an opportunity to do, think, and feel education in fundamentally different--indeed, in transformative--ways. The TSE Speaker Series is coordinated by Dr. Z Nicolazzo, Associate Professor in Educational Policy Studies and Practice, and Roman Christiaens, a current doctoral student in the Higher Education Department. 

The TSE Speaker Series invites trans and non-binary educators, artists, community organizers and scholars from across the country to share their experiences, insights, and wisdom with UA students, staff, faculty, community members and colleagues from other institutions. For the 2021-2022 academic year, the theme is Trans As/In Community. Invited speakers will speak to how community organizing within and across trans communities should inform education and advocacy on trans rights and trans lives. Learn more about this year’s theme and speaker for the current semester.

During the spring 2022 term, the Trans Studies in Education speaker series expanded by working alongside Dr. Harper Keenan, the Robert Quartermain Assistant Professor of Gender & Sexuality Research in Education in the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Inclusive Education program, at the University of British Columbia and Texas Trans Futures, an organization of transgender K-12 educators. This collaboration gave rise to the Trans Freedom Summer School initiative, which included an in-person ongoing education program in Texas and monthly, youth-friendly webinars.