Post submitted by Adam Bradley, HRC Communications Intern

University of Arizona logoThe University of Arizona last week announced plans to hire four tenure-track professors in transgender studies within the next two years, making the school’s Institute for LGBT Studies a leading resource on transgender scholarship.

In the same hiring call, the university stated its intention to establish a Center for Critical Studies of the Body and a graduate program in transgender studies. UA already houses the groundbreaking Transgender Studies Quarterly (TSQ), forthcoming in 2014.

Institute director Susan Stryker, a leading transgender scholar and co-author of The Transgender Studies Reader, expressed excitement over the moves.

“Right now my colleagues and I are in the blue sky and white board stage. We’re in uncharted territory,” Stryker told the Huffington Post. “I really hope this is just the start of a trend. I hope that what we are able to do at UA will show other universities that this is a viable field.”

It is clear that media and pundits still struggle to treat the transgender community with the dignity and respect they deserve—exemplified by their treatment of Pvt. Chelsea E. Manning. Earlier this week, HRC joined over 40 organizations calling for journalists and officials to respect the basic human dignity of transgender individuals by referring to them by their chosen names and personal pronouns.

With these moves, UA has the opportunity to positively impact that discourse and contribute to the growing field of transgender scholarship in an unprecedented way.

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