We launched Sociologists for Trans Justice in summer 2016, holding our first forum at the August annual meeting of the American Sociological Association (ASA). Our chief aim is to advance transgender justice in and through sociology. In order to institutionalize and sustain our efforts for years to come, we decided to use a committee approach to divvy up the great deal of work that is necessary to achieve trans justice in the discipline and beyond.
With great pleasure, we wish to share with you what we have accomplished since the summer. Below, we have compiled a list of what each of the six subcommittees is working on; please note that there are specific requests for feedback that committee chairs have posed. General feedback can be directed to sociologistsfortransjustice [at] gmail [dot] com.
Committee on Advancing Trans Studies in Sociology
- #TransJusticeSyllabus: This committee has been working on creating a #TransJusticeSyllabus – a list of suggested readings on trans and non-binary communities. There is an associated Twitter account: @TransSyllabus. The committee has put out calls to several ASA sections for suggested readings for the syllabus.
- Compendium of Resources: This committee has been developing an archive of datasets, print matter, visual arts, conferences, organizations, and other academic resources related to trans justice.
- ASA Panels: This committee successfully proposed a Trans Studies regular session at ASA annual meetings, beginning with the 2018 annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA.
- Journal reviewer database: This committee has been developing a database of trans studies experts in sociology to provide to sociology journals; this will help journals draw from a wide, diverse pool of reviewers to provide reviews on trans studies related manuscripts. They will solicit contributors later this semester.
Committee on Addressing and Eliminating Transphobia and Cissexism in Sociology
- Best Practices Guide: This committee has been developing a “best practices” guide for inclusion of trans and non-binary people in classrooms, departments, universities, and academic conferences. They have consulted existing literature, and plan to disseminate their findings in the coming months.
- Conference Safe Spaces: This committee has sent requests to regional sociology organizations to create safe spaces for trans and non-binary people at future conferences. The Southern Sociological Society (SSS) has agreed to host a TGNC Hospitality Suite at its 2017 meeting.
- Pronouns on Conference Badges: This committee has sent requests to ASA and regional sociology organizations to include conference attendees gender pronouns on conference nametags. The committee has asked that soliciting members’ pronouns be standard during online registration, rather than a special option that (trans and non-binary) members must request.
- Survey of Trans Experiences in Sociology: This committee has considered administering a survey of trans and non-binary sociologists of their experiences in the discipline. Whereas the ASA Status on the Committee of LGBTQ People in Sociology plans to conduct a similar survey, the committee must decide whether to collaborate with the Status Committee or hold off to conduct a separate survey.
Committee on Professional Development of Trans and Non-binary Scholars and Trans Studies Scholars in Sociology
- Curriculum Lab: This committee plans to propose a “curriculum lab” session at future ASA meetings to create a space where students and junior scholars can receive feedback on syllabi, presentations, reading lists, action checklists, etc. This is similar to the “Critique Me” career development sessions held at SWS meetings: https://www.socwomen.org/list-of-committees/career-development/.
- Professional Development: This committee plans to develop an online platform to distribute professional development materials for trans scholars. The committee is looking into creating more formal professional development support channels to promote peer support and mentorship for trans studies scholars. Particular attention is being paid to amplifying the voices of and sharing resources from trans student activists within and beyond sociology.
- Social Gathering: This committee plans to host social gathering for trans and non-binary sociologists at future ASA conferences.
Committee on Graduate Students (Working For Trans Justice)
- Survey of Trans Grad Students: This committee has been developing a survey to administer to trans and non-binary graduate students (all disciplines) to ask about their experiences in their academic training, teaching, job searches, and with discrimination. The committee plans to administer the survey in late spring and present survey results at the S4TJ forum at the 2017 ASA annual meeting.
- Avoiding Overlap: This committee is investigating the work of other entities to ensure that there is no overlap, and to identify possible collaborations.
Committee on Advancing Public Understanding of Trans and Non-Binary Issues
- Expert Database: This committee plans to develop a database of trans studies experts for journalists to contact about news stories related to trans and non-binary people.
- Online Platform for Experts’ Opinions: This committee plans to create an online platform – blog or other social media platform – to feature the perspective of trans studies experts to weigh in on current events and news stories related to trans justice (e.g., transphobic bathroom bills, the epidemic of transphobic and racist violence).
Committee on Advancing Trans and Non-Binary Scholars in Sociology Generally
- ASA Demographic Information: This committee is awaiting demographic information from the ASA.
- Collaborations: This committee has reached out to the ASA Committee on the Status of LGBTQ People in Sociology and LGBTQ Caucus to forge possible collaborations.
We plan to issue a follow-up progress report in June to recap the past year’s accomplishments.