MW Bychowski publishes “Unconfessing Transgender” in OA journal

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Announcement: M.W. Bychowski published an article, “Unconfessing Transgender: Dysphoric Youths and the Medicalization of Madness in John Gower’s “Tale of Iphis and Ianthe” in the OA journal Accessus

Abstract:

On the brink of the twenty-first century, Judith Butler argues in “Undiagnosing Gender” that the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines the psychiatric condition of “Gender Identity Disorder” (or “Gender Dysphoria”) in ways that control biological diversity and construct “transgender” as a marginalized identity. By turning the study of gender away from vulnerable individuals and towards the broader systems of power, Butler works to liberate bodies from the medical mechanisms managing difference and precluding potentially disruptive innovations in forms of life and embodiment by creating categories of gender and disability.

Turning to the brink of the 15th century, we find that John Gower’s Confessio Amantis narrates the division and dysphoria of gender according to the hermeneutic of the seven deadly sins. The “Tale of Iphis and Ianthe” occurs in the Confessio’s Book IV on “acedia,” or sloth. Iphis, whose story is bordered by a priest’s penitential advice and thereby related to sloth, is a biologically female youth dressed as a boy and later physically transformed into a man. Medieval disability scholars have demonstrated that for premodern thinkers, religion and medicine were so intertwined as to be inseparable, especially in cases such as the management of sloth, where the symptoms of depression, despair, and sluggishness spanned the categorizes of physical and spiritual disease. Gower himself considers the God of Love to be both cause and physician of this ailment.

In “Unconfessing Transgender,” I contend that Gower’s text considers the medical definition and control of medieval “trans” bodies under the auspices of sin by presenting both Iphis’s problem and cure as socially constructed. The first part of this article explores “Divisioun and Dysphoria” to establish how Gower prefigures the modern social model of transgender as an experience of living in a world full of change and contradiction. In part two, the particular social forms of “divisioun” identified as “Acedia and Depression” signal Gower’s discussion of the sin of sloth that frames the “Tale of Iphis and Ianthe.” In the third part, I examine how Gower’s removal of the dysphoric youth’s voice and agency in the tale emphasizes the systematic character of suffering caused by a dysphoric Nature (represented by Isis) and a subjugating patriarchal Nature (represented by Eros).

For more information available at Transliterature Online (www.ThingsTransform.com)

Faculty CAN (Coffee & Networking): BIG DATA, Machine Learning, and Frontiers of Data Science

 

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Abstract networks of coffee cups. Original image here.

TODAY at noon in Phillips 411. CCAS Faculty CAN (Coffee And Networking) event of interest to digital humanists!

Faculty Coffee and Networking (Faculty CAN)

Title: Big Data, Machine Learning, and Frontiers of  Data Science
Date / Time: Wednesday, November 16, 12 – 1pm
Location: Phillips 411
Sign Up: Registration site (optional but encouraged)

Event Description: The explosion of data is rapidly changing our everyday life and is impacting every aspect of our society, including higher education. This leads to a great deal of needs for university faculty to work together to explore fresh ideas, to develop new tools to understand big data, and to produce the next generation of workforce for the society.  Over the past several years, our colleagues have already worked together to obtain fruitful results, including the creation of the Data MASTER Program, the new Master of Data Science Program, as well as several university seminars related to data-driven computation.  With that, we would like to invite you for a gathering so we can learn each other’s interests in this direction and explore collaborative opportunities.

ANNOUNCEMENT: WORKSHOP SERIES TOMORROW!

The German Historical Institute is hosting a set of hands-on workshops on Thursday, October 20, at their headquarters in Dupont Circle to demonstrate various kinds of digital mapping tools that might be of interest to humanities scholars.

There will be four different workshops offered over the course of the day, each about an hour and 45 minutes. A person can sign up for one, two, three, or all four workshops, as long as there’s space available.

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Contact Dr. Atiba Pertilla at pertilla@ghi-dc.org if you have any questions. Event website with full info: http://bit.ly/2exJCXW

ALSO: The GHI is also hosting a lecture tomorrow night at 6pm by Stephen Robertson (Rosenzweig Center at GMU) who’ll be speaking about the challenges and pitfalls of using digital mapping to try to reconstruct the 1935 Harlem riot: http://www.ghi-dc.org/…/toward-a-spatial-narrative-of-the-1…

If you’re interested in attending Robertson’s lecture, please email Melanie Smaney at smaney@ghi-dc.org to RSVP.

“Sonnets Remixed” now exists in print

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Announcement: The born-digital artistic and literary compilation Out of Sequence: The Sonnets Remixed (previously discussed on this very blog) now exists in print! D Gilson, now an alumnus of The George Washington University, was its editor, and the collection includes contributions by GW faculty and gradute students. You can read the entire collection online at Upstart: A Journal of English Renaissance Studies or purchase a hard copy of the collection at Parlor Press.