Brown Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice

Captive Genders Conference

October 27 & 28, 2016
Granoff Center for the Creative Arts
Martinos Auditorium
154 Angell Street 

Film Screening at Cable Car Cinema
204 South Main Street 

Captive Genders is a conference that traces the impact of the prison industrial complex on trans and gender nonconforming people. By addressing the politically urgent topic of mass incarceration in tandem with trans precarity and trans women of color activism, this event will examine intersections between queer and racial justice.

This two-day event will include a keynote panel, a student-oriented workshop, and a film screening, bringing together chief contributors to Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press), the first publication of its scale to align trans studies with abolitionist critique. The event will feature a keynote panel with Reina Gossett, filmmaker and former membership director of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Chris Vargas, executive director of the Museum of Transgender Hirstory and Art, and Eric Stanley, co-editor for Captive Genders and Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at UC Riverside. Cherise Morris, an MA student in Public Humanities, will serve as moderator. This event will also feature a screening of Eric Stanley and Chris Vargas' film, Criminal Queers (2015), which visualizes a radical trans/queer struggle against the prison industrial complex.

Copies of Captive Genders will be available for purchase at the event, and a book signing will follow the panel. All profits from sales go toward providing free books to people inside prisons and jails.


Schedule of Events:

Thursday, October 27, 2016
Cable Car Cinema (204 S Main St)
8:00 PM: Screening of Criminal Queers (dir. Chris Vargas & Eric Stanley, 2015)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University
11:00AM-12:30PM: Queer Art as Prison Abolition Workshop

Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, Brown University
Martinos Auditorium
6:00-8:00 PM: Keynote Panel with Reina Gossett, Eric Stanley, and Chris Vargas. Moderated by Cherise Morris.

Reception and book signing to follow event.

Reina Gossett is an activist, writer, and filmmaker, and the 2014-2016 Activist-In-Residence at Barnard College's Center for Research on Women. As the membership director at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project from 2010 to 2014, Reina worked to lift the voice and power of trans and gender non conforming people and took part in the successful campaign to end healthcare discrimination to low income trans and gender non conforming New Yorkers. Along with Sasha Wortzel, Reina wrote, directed, and produced Happy Birthday, Marsha (in post-production), a film about iconic transgender artist and activist, Marsha "Pay it No Mind" Johnson and her life in the hours before she ignited the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

Chris E. Vargas is a video maker & interdisciplinary artist currently based in Bellingham, WA whose work deploys humor and performance in conjunction with mainstream idioms to explore the complex ways that queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within historical & institutional memory and popular culture. Vargas is the Executive Director of MOTHA, the Museum of Transgender Hirstory & Art, an arts & hirstory institution highlighting the contributions of trans art to the cultural and political landscape.

Eric Stanley is an assistant professor in the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside. Along with Chris Vargas they directed the films Homotopia (2007) and Criminal Queers (2016) and are the editor of Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press 2011).

Cherise Morris is a queer Black (with a capital B) feminist-dream-worker interested in community education for liberation, Black women's legacies of resistance, abolitionist futures, urban agriculture, independent media, and Black folkloric traditions among other things. She is currently a publishing intern at Truthout. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Feminist Wire and (upcoming) Fourth Genre. She hails from rural Virginia, and her heart lives in Detroit, while she is completing a 5th-year Masters in Providence, RI.

Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex is a groundbreaking anthology of academic, activist, and personal narratives about the struggles of trans/gender non-conforming and queer folks against the enormity of the prison industrial complex. It is the recipient of the 2016 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies.

This conference is generously supported by the Department of Modern Culture & Media and the Malcolm S. Forbes Center for Culture & Media Studies, the Brown Arts Initiative, the Swearer Center for Public Service, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, the Center for the Study of Race & Ethnicity in America, the LGBTQ Center, the Center for the Public Humanities, and the Department of History.