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Critique Essay Humanities Nonfiction

Teaching Transgender History, Identity, and Politics

By Elizabeth Reis, 2004

What’s transgender?” “Is there transgender history?” “You can teach a whole course on that?” “Transgender issues? Cool!” These responses reflect the range of reactions I get when I tell people the title of the course I teach at the University of Oregon: “Transgender History, Identity, and Pol- itics.” Most of the students seem to know what transgender means; last term the class filled to capacity within days of the onset of registration, and I turned away as many as the forty that enrolled.

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