Trans Disruptions: The Future of Change Conference 2024

This three-day conference will bring together activists, theorists, artists, and writers to explore the pasts, futures, and in-between times of transgender lives, narratives, and theories. The conference will allow an opportunity to meet, talk, learn, and disrupt the conventional narratives that circulate about bodies, economies, histories, pleasure, revolt, and science.

*This event has received an exemption from the boycott of University events by the organizers of the Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) group*

RSVP to Trans Disruptions panels here

While RSVPs are appreciated, they are not required. All panels and keynotes will be open seating on a first-come, first-served basis up to the venue capacity. An RSVP does not guarantee a seat. If you would like to attend a particular panel or keynote, we suggest arriving to the venue 10 minutes early to secure seating.


Conference Schedule

4:00-5:30pm | Trans Poetry | East Gallery, Buell Hall

  • Jameson Fitzpatrick
  • Taylor Johnson
  • Julian T. Brolaski
  • Moderator: ofi davis

5:30-6:30pm | Light Refreshments | East Gallery, Buell Hall

6:30-8:00pm | AFFIRMATIONS: Queer/Trans Eco-Territorial-Bodiments | Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall

  • Cassils
  • Marquis Bey
  • Jack Halberstam
  • Moderators: Bart-Jan Polman & Dean Andrés Jaque

Presented by Columbia GSAPP. This event will be live-streamed on GSAPP's YouTube channel.

12:00-1:30pm | Trans Media & Gaming Cultures | East Gallery, Buell Hall

  • Whit Pow
  • Avery Dame-Griff
  • Naomi Clark
  • Moderator: Christine Prevas

1:30-2:00pm | Coffee Break | Buell Hall Lobby

2:00-3:30pm | Trans Structures & Systems | East Gallery, Buell Hall

  • Kadji Amin
  • Xavi Aguirre
  • Levi Hord
  • Moderator: Jack Halberstam

3:30-4:00pm | Coffee Break | Buell Hall Lobby

4:00-5:30pm | Trans Histories | East Galley, Buell Hall 

  • Gabrielle Bychowski
  • Beans Velocci
  • Zavier Nunn
  • Moderator: Nikita Shepard

5:30-7:00pm | Dinner Break | Various Locations

Participants are encouraged to look at the "Places to Dine in Morningside Heights" tab or the map of dining establishments in the printed program.

7:00-8:30pm | Keynote: A Middle-Class Taste for Freedom, or the Transvestite History of Transgender by Jules Gill-Peterson | Lecture Hall, Pulitzer


9:00-10:00am | Breakfast | Buell Hall Lobby

10:00-11:30am | Trans in The Global South | East Gallery, Buell Hall

  • Mikee Inton-Campbell
  • Aniruddha Dutta
  • Cole Rizki
  • Moderator: Srija Umapathy

11:30am-12:30pm | Lunch | Buell Hall Lobby

12:30-2:00pm | Trans Abolition | East Gallery, Buell Hall

  • D Dangaran
  • Qui Alexander
  • Eric Stanley
  • Moderator: Che Gossett

2:00-2:30pm | Coffee Break | Buell Hall Lobby

2:30-4:00pm | Trans Narrative | East Gallery, Buell Hall

  • Grace Lavery
  • rl Goldberg
  • Jackie Ess
  • Moderator: Connor Spencer

4:30-5:30pm | Keynote & Reading by Torrey Peters | Lecture Hall, Pulitzer

  • Respondent: Jules Gill-Peterson

5:30-7:00pm | Dinner Break | Various Locations

Participants are encouraged to look at the "Places to Dine in Morningside Heights" tab or the map of dining establishments in the printed program.

7:00-8:30pm | Screening of Orlando: My Political Biography dir. Paul Preciado | The Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room, Lenfest

Following the screening, there will be an informal talk back hosted by some of the Graduate Student Conference Coordinators at Suite (992 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10025). Please note that Suite is a 21+ establishment, and that this event is not formally part of the schedule for the Trans Disruptions: The Future of Change conference.

Navigating Campus & Morningside Heights

Map of Columbia's Morningside Campus with conference locations

The Trans Disruptions: The Future of Change conference will primarily take place at three locations on Columbia's Morningside Campus:

  1. East Gallery, Buell Hall (all panels)
  2. Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall (AFFIRMATIONS keynote)
  3. Lecture Hall, Pulitzer Hall (Jules Gill-Peterson keynote and Torrey Peters reading)
Map of Columbia's Manhattanville Campus with screening location circled

The Friday night screening of Orlando: My Political Biography, hosted by our colleagues at the School of the Arts, will take place in the Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room at the Lenfest Center for the Arts on Columbia's Manhattanville Campus.

A map of gender neutral restrooms on Columbia's campus

The above map lists the locations of gender-neutral bathrooms on Columbia's Morningside Campus. On this map, gender-neutral bathrooms are located at the following conference locations:

  • (2) Buell Hall - 100 (accessible) & 200 levels
  • (12) Fayerweather Hall - 200 level (Avery Hall & Fayerweather Hall are connected)
  • (22) Pulitzer Hall - 800 level (Conference staff will be able to provide the needed CUID swipe access)
Map of gender-neutral restrooms on Manhattanville campus

The above map lists the locations of gender-neutral bathrooms on Columbia's Manhattanville Campus. On this map, gender-neutral bathrooms are located at the following conference locations:

  • (4) Lenfest - 200 & 300 levels (all levels of Lenfest are accessible)
Accessibility map of Columbia's campus

Please find a list of restaurants around Columbia's campus here

Speaker Bios

Jules Gill-Peterson is an associate professor of History at Johns Hopkins University and a general co-editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly. She is the author of Histories of the Transgender Child (2018) and A Short History of Trans Misogyny (2024).

Torrey Peters is the author of the novel Detransition, Baby, published by One World, which won the 2021 PEN/Hemingway award for debut fiction. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Awards, a finalist for the Brooklyn Public Library Award, and was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. She has an MFA from the University of Iowa and a Masters in Comparative Literature from Dartmouth. Torrey rides a pink motorcycle and splits her time between Brooklyn and an off-grid cabin in Vermont.

Julian Talamantez Brolaski (it / xe / them) is a poet and country musician, the author of Of Mongrelitude (Wave Books 2017), Advice for Lovers (City Lights 2012), and gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011).  Julian is a 2023-2024 Bagley-Wright lecturer, a 2021 Pew Foundation Fellow, and the recipient of the 2020 Cy Twombly Award for Poetry.  Its poems were recently included in When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry (2020) and We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat 2020). With their band Juan & the Pines, Julian released the EP Glittering Forest in 2019; Julian’s first full-length album It’s Okay Honey came out in August 2023.


Jameson Fitzpatrick is the author of Pricks in the Tapestry (Birds, LLC, 2020). The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on

the Arts/New York Foundation for the Arts, she is a Clinical Associate Professor of Expository Writing at New York University.


Taylor Johnson is from Washington, DC. He is the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), winner of the 2021 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. His work appears in Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, The Baffler, Scalawag, and elsewhere. Johnson is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a recipient of the 2017 Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and the 2021 Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging Writers from Lambda Literary. Taylor was the inaugural 2022 Poet-in-Residence at the Guggenheim Museum. He is the Poet Laureate of Takoma Park, Maryland. With his wife, Elizabeth Bryant, Taylor curates the Green Way Reading Series at People’s Book in Takoma Park. 


[Moderator] ofi davis (he/they) is a two-spirit poet, access worker, and educator accountable to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. his work has been published in Everybody Press Review and he is a proud contributor to Queer Earth Food Vol. 2 (Combos Press). while originally born and raised in the south, he is now living and working in Lenapehoking -- colonially known as new york city.


Jack Halberstam is the David Feinson Professor of The Humanities at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books including: The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011), Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press).  Halberstam’s latest book, 2020 from Duke UP is titled Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire. Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam  is now finishing a book on trans anarchitectures titled: Unworlding: An Aesthetics of Collapse.


Marquis Bey is Professor of Black Studies and English, and core faculty in Gender & Sexuality Studies and Critical Theory, at Northwestern University. Their work, broadly speaking, concerns trans and nonbinary studies, black feminism, critical theory, and abolition. Bey is the author, most recently, of Black Trans Feminism and Cistem Failure: Essays on Blackness and Cisgender (both published with Duke University Press, 2022).  Currently, Bey is at work on two projects: one, a multi-volume set on "jailbreaking" race and gender, and the other an autotheoretical meditation on nonbinary life.


Cassils (they/them) is a transgender artist who makes their own body the material and protagonist of their performances. Cassils's art contemplates the history(s) of LGBTQI+ violence, representation, struggle and survival. For them, performance is a form of social sculpture: Drawing from the idea that bodies are formed in relation to forces of power and social expectations, their work investigates historical contexts to examine the present moment.


Whit Pow (they/them) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Their book project, People Orientations: Toward a Transgender Video Game and Software History, looks at the intersection of trans medical history, surveillance, and policy with computer and video game history. Their work has been published in and is forthcoming from Camera Obscura, Feminist Media Histories, ROMchip: A Journal of Game Histories, the art magazine Outland, and on the Social Science Research Council’s Just Tech platform, among others. Pow is a recipient of the NYU Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellowship.


Avery Dame-Griff is a Lecturer in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Gonzaga University. He founded and serves as primary curator of the Queer Digital History Project, an independent community history project cataloging and archiving pre-2010 LGBTQ spaces online. His book, The Two Revolutions: A History of the Transgender Internet (NYU Press, 2023) tracks how the Internet transformed transgender political organizing from the 1980s to the contemporary moment. In 2022, he was selected to be a Public Humanities Fellow for Humanities Washington and will be part of Humanities Washington’s Speakers’ Bureau for 2024-2025, presenting on the impact and legacy of LGBTQ BBSes in Washington State.


Naomi Clark is an independent game designer who's been contributing to video games, board games, and tabletop roleplaying games as a system designer, narrative designer, writer and producer for the past twenty-five years. In that time she's worked on early text-based worlds, dozens of kids' games and digital building tools for LEGO, educational games on subjects ranging from feminist history to electricity, downloadable and mobile games for mass audiences, and much more. Her notable recent works include Consentacle, a card game of trust, communication and intimacy that portrays an alien sexual encounter, and We'll Meet Again Some Starry Day, a storytelling game for distant friends exploring human and transhuman experience. Naomi has contributed writing about games for online publications (Feministe) and collections of essays (Videogames for Humans, Queer Game Studies) in addition to co-authoring a textbook entitled A Game Design Vocabulary with Anna Anthropy, and has delivered numerous talks at festivals and conferences such as Indiecade, Queerness in Games, Different Games and the Game Developers Conference. She currently serves as the chair of the NYU Game Center, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate students and oversees two degree programs in game design. Beyond games, Naomi was a founding collective member of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and a member of SRLP's board for over two decades, and played drums for many musical acts in Brooklyn's queer country music scene. Her current projects include Lacerunner, a 19th-century re-imagining of a cyberpunk card-dueling game, and an untitled cooperative board game about coalition-building in a fractured city.


[Moderator] Christine Prevas (they/them) is a PhD Candidate in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, with a focus in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Their dissertation utilizes theoretical approaches from queer and trans studies and from architectural theory to interrogate the relationship between the production of gender and the built environment through the figure of the haunted house in contemporary literature, film, and video games. They hold an MPhil in English Studies: Criticism and Culture from the University of Cambridge. Their writing can be found in Communication, Culture and Critique.


Kadji Amin is Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Emory University and a 2023-4 fellow at the Cornell Society for the Humanities. Amin is a materialist theorist of gender and sexuality. His research brings empirical scholarship on the history of sexuality to bear on trans and queer theory. Amin’s book, Disturbing Attachments: Genet, Modern Pederasty, and Queer History (Duke 2017) won an Honorable Mention for best book in LGBT studies form the GL/Q Caucus of the Modern Language Association. He is currently at work on a second book titled, “Trans Materialism without Gender Identity.”


Xavi Aguirre (they/them) is an architectural designer, Assistant Professor of Architecture at MIT and founder/director of stock-a-studio ( Their practice develops architectural tactics by gleaning design insight from under the radar sources: b side economies, clubby resilience, municipal solves, media tools, supply chain protocols... From these, they develop a nimble, shifty, approach to design that highlights how material resources pass through us and built environments. Aguirre’s built and exhibition work has been commissioned by the US Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale, MOCA L.A., Salome del Mobile in Milan, Berghain Club and Design Core Detroit among others. They are currently exhibiting and programming Proofing: Resistant and Ready, a temporary club environment at Carnegie Museum of Art and finishing a 3000s.f. experimental sound production and performance space at Dartmouth College in collaboration with T+E+A+M. 


Levi C. R. Hord is a Ph.D. candidate in English & Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where they are co-founder & co-convenor of the Trans & Queer Theory Colloquium. Their work takes up the post-2010 North American proliferation of nonbinary gender, theorizing both the formal disruptions to systems of recognition, and the conservative fantasies of viral ideology and transgender universalism that circulate in its wake. Levi holds an MSt in Gender Studies and an MSc in the History of Medicine from the University of Oxford, as well as a  BA from the School for the Advanced Studies in the Arts & Humanities at Western University. Their work can be found in Sexualities, Politics/Letters, and the Oxonian Review.


[Moderator] Jack Halberstam is the David Feinson Professor of The Humanities at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books including: The Queer Art of Failure (Duke UP, 2011), Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (University of California Press).  Halberstam’s latest book, 2020 from Duke UP is titled Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire. Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality and the built environment. Halberstam  is now finishing a book on trans anarchitectures titled: Unworlding: An Aesthetics of Collapse.


Gabrielle M.W. Bychowski is full-time English faculty and Anisfield-Wolf Fellow at Case Western Reserve University. Her teaching focuses on disability, transgender, and critical race studies. Her most recent publications include entries in The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Medieval Women's Writing in the Global Middle Ages, A Cultural History of Race in the Renaissance and Early Modern Age, Trans Historical: Gender Plurality Before the Modern, Trans and Genderqueer Subjects in Medieval Hagiography, The Ashgate Research Companion to Medieval Disability Studies, and The Medieval Disability Sourcebook. Together with Dorothy Kim, she edited Medieval Trans Feminism special issue collection for the Medieval Feminist Forum. As a public scholar, she maintains Trans Literature Online ( and Transgender University ( As part of this work, she serves as a consultant for various institutions, businesses, and political campaigns, including the Cleveland Foundation and the (Obama Era) White House. 


Beans Velocci (they/them) is a historian of sex, science, and classification. Beans is assistant professor of History and Sociology of Science and core faculty in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Their first book, Binary Logic: The Power of Incoherence in American Sex Science is under contract with Duke University Press and uses queer and feminist science studies methods to interrogate the tremendous amount of work required to produce cisness. Their work has also been published in TSQ, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Cell, The American Naturalist, and the forthcoming edited volume Feminism Against Cisness. 


Zavier Nunn is the Postdoctoral Associate of “Histories of the Transgender Present” in the Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies Department at Duke University. His PhD, from the University of Oxford, provides an everyday history of trans feminine life in Weimar and Nazi Germany. His first monograph, Liminal Lives: Trans Feminine Histories from Weimar and Nazi Germany is under review at Duke University Press. His second project will historicise modern trans subjectivity, specifically the ontology of an internal gender identity and its epistemological counterpart, the “wrong body narrative”. Across his research, Nunn uses micro-historical methods to unpick how macro systems and institutions are stitched together. His work is published in Past & Present and Gender & History, and he has publications forthcoming in German History and Transgender Studies Quarterly.


[Moderator] Nikita Shepard (they/them) is a PhD candidate in the department of history at Columbia University, researching gender, sexuality, race, and social movements in the modern United States. Their dissertation traces the history of public bathrooms and political struggles over access to them from the New Deal through the present, and their research has explored mid-century queer youth history, nonbinary genders and the carceral state, and the politics of data and surveillance within queer/trans movements. Their writings and reviews have appeared in The Washington Post, The Oral History Journal, Social History, Western Historical Quarterly, American Nineteenth Century History, Black Perspectives, Reviews in Digital Humanities, RFD Magazine, Spectrum South, and the anthology Queer Data Studies (University of Washington Press, 2023).



Mikee Inton-Campbell is assistant professor of Trans and Queer of Color Studies at California State University San Marcos. She is originally from the Philippines and currently serves on the Board of Directors at the International Trans Fund, having previously served on the Board of Trustees of the Society of Trans Women of the Philippines (STRAP), and as co-chair of the Trans Steering Committee at ILGA World (2014-2019). As a transfeminist scholar, her research and teaching are focused on issues of trans representation in the Media, sexuality and pleasure, decolonizing transness, global histories of trans and queer social movements, and Sex Work.


Aniruddha Dutta is an Associate Professor of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. Dr. Dutta’s research interests include transnational sexualities, globalization, development, political economy, and the institutionalization of gender and sexual politics in India. Their work has appeared in journals such as Transgender Studies Quarterly, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, International Feminist Journal of Politics, Gender and History, and South Asian History and Culture. Dr. Dutta also works as a volunteer and advisor with several collectives of gender non-conforming communities such as kothis and hijras in eastern India.


Cole Rizki is Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese and Affiliate Faculty with the Departments of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and American Studies at the University of Virginia. His research examines the entanglements of trans cultural production and activisms with histories of state violence and terror throughout the Américas. Rizki is co-editor of "Trans Studies en las Américas," a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly on Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Trans Studies (May 2019) and he is TSQ’s Translation Section Editor (2020-present). Rizki is currently developing a special issue of NACLA: Report on the Americas on queer and trans activisms and resistance practices slated for March 2025. His work appears in journals such as TSQRadical History ReviewJournal of Latin American Cultural StudiesBalam, and the Journal of Visual Culture among others. Most recently, he is the recipient of an ACLS Fellowship (2024-2025) for his monograph in process tentatively titled “Travesti Tide: Trans Politics Beyond Liberalism,” offering a new historical and cultural interpretation of trans politics as a response to illiberal state violence and its forms.  


[Moderator] Srija Umapathy is a PhD student and a Marjorie Hope Nicolson Fellow in the English and Comparative Literature program at Columbia University. Her work focuses on the intersection of Queer Theory, Psychoanalysis, Film Studies, and Post-Colonial Theory. She was previously a Teaching Fellow at Ashoka University and also worked as a consultant at the Centre for Studies in Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) in New Delhi, India.

D Dangaran D Dangaran is a Filipino-Black non-binary trans femme / fairy from Wahiawā, Hawai`i. As the Director of Gender Justice at Rights Behind Bars, D litigates against U.S. prisons, jails, and immigration detention centers. They specialize in using litigation and advocacy to work alongside trans incarcerated people seeking access to necessary gender-affirming care. D is a first-generation college graduate of Yale University and received their J.D. from Harvard Law School. D serves as a co-chair of the National Trans Bar Association.


Qui Alexander, PhD is a queer, trans, Black Puerto Rican scholar, educator and organizer currently based in Tkaronto. They are an Assistant Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Trans Studies in Curriculum and Pedagogy at OISE, University of Toronto. Their work and scholarship centers queer Black feminist praxis, Black trans studies, transformative justice, abolition and healing justice. Their current research focus is on pedagogies of abolitionist praxis in the lived experience of Black trans folks. Grounded in their extensive experience as a community organizer, Qui views their scholarship as a place to articulate the cultural work they do in relation to their communities. Believing education is a practice of freedom, Qui strives to center personal transformation and healing in every educational space they have the honor to hold and co-create.


Eric A. Stanley is the Haas Distinguished Chair in LGBT Equity and an associate professor in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. They are the author of Atmospheres of Violence: Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable (Duke 2021). 


[Moderator] Che Gossett is a postdoctoral scholar at with the Initiative for a Just Society at Columbia Law School.  Che co-edited a special issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly "Trans in a Time of HIV/AIDS" with Professor Eva Hayward in 2020, and their 2022 syllabus on trans and non-binary methods for art and art history co-authored with Professor David Getsy won the College Art Journal Award for Distinction. They have been a visiting fellow at the Animal Law and Policy Program at Harvard Law School and a visiting fellow in art history at Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge.



rl Goldberg is the Instructional Specialist in the Humanities at Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative. They earned their PhD in English and Humanistic Studies from Princeton in 2021 and were a postdoctoral fellow in Dartmouth’s Society of Fellows from 2021-2023. Their first book, I Changed My Sex! Pedagogy and Trans Narrative, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.


Grace Lavery is Associate Professor of English at UC Berkeley, specializing in Victorian literature and culture, trans feminist studies, and contemporary popular culture. She is the author of Quaint, Exquisite: Victorian Aesthetics and the Idea of Japan (Princeton UP, 2019), Pleasure and Efficacy: Of Pen Names, Cover Versions, and Other Trans Techniques (Princeton UP, 2023), and Closures: Heterosexuality and the American Sitcom (Duke UP, 2024), and has contributed essays to VICE, Slate, The Guardian, Los Angeles Review of Books, Catapult, Roxane Gay’s Gay Mag, Autostraddle, and Them. Her speculative memoir about recovery and transition, Please Miss, was published in 2022. 


Jackie Ess is a novelist and teacher.

[Moderator] Connor Spencer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. His research interests span queer and trans studies, critical theory, aesthetics, visual cultures, archives, and 20th/21st-century literature. His dissertation examines the aesthetic, social, and political dimensions of typological imaginaries in queer and trans cultures. At Columbia, Connor holds graduate fellowships at the Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender and the Research Initiative on the Global History of Sexualities. He is a co-convener and founder of the Trans & Queer Theory Colloquium.