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HSRC SEMINAR: Categories and their Discontents: The trials and tribulations of using the terms ‘LGBT’ and ‘MSM/WSW’

Dr Surya Monro, University of Huddersfield, UK, 20 February, 12H15 for 12H30 to 14:00

02-20 Monro
Do we need the terms ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender’? How useful are the categories of ‘Men who have Sex with Men’ and ‘Women who have Sex with Women?’ In what ways do these labels construct, contain and constrain us? Do we need them, as a basis for forging identities, as a foundation for activism, for research, for policy making and practice?  This seminar explores the ways in which sexual and gender categories structure the forms of identity that we consider possible, looking at the absences that occur when ‘shorthand’ style categories are used, at attempts to dismantle or move beyond categories, and at the politically strategic use of sexual/gender categories. The talk draws on a number of original empirical studies including a study about transgender in the UK in the 1990s, a large research project about LGBT equalities in local government (2007-2010) and a project about bisexuality (current).

Surya Monro is Reader in Sociology and Social Policy based at the Centre for Research in the Social Sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK, email s.monro@hud.ac.uk. Surya has published substantially in the fields of gender and sexuality, notably on the topic of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equalities. She is the author of Gender Politics: Citizenship, Activism, and Sexual Diversity (Pluto Press 2005) and co-author (with Diane Richardson) of Sexuality, Equality and Diversity (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012).

Kindly RSVP by 18 February 2013

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or JWitten@hsrc.ac.za
Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or RKhan@hsrc.ac.za
Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Happy Solomon Tel: (012) 302 2369, e-mail: HSolomon@hsrc.ac.za

(sent by Hannah B.)