Flying Under the Radar: Privacy, Airport Surveillance, and Transgender Politics

Lecture | April 6 | 12-2 p.m. | 602 Barrows Hall

 Toby Beauchamp, Assistant Professor in Gender and Women's Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

 Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society

Please join us for a HIFIS Transgender Studies faculty job talk:

This talk positions the various medicalized technologies central to airport security screenings in a broader political and cultural context to show how efforts to objectively distinguish between bodies that are worthy of care and bodies that are inherently harmful displace the violence of state policies and practices onto individual bodies marked as threats. Analyzing the discourses of vulnerability, privacy, and violence that circulate through the airport scene, the talk demonstrates how transgender advocates’ common recourse to medical legitimacy helps naturalize ideals of privacy and normative bodily health, as well as airport surveillance itself.

Toby Beauchamp is an assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His book Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices (forthcoming on Duke University Press) takes up transgender as a mode of analysis to show how surveillance programs produce and regulate gender nonconformity, thereby complicating struggles for transgender visibility. His new research draws on transgender studies frameworks to examine the transnational production and circulation of synthetic sex hormones. Beauchamp’s writing has appeared in several edited book collections and journals including GLQ, Feminist Formations, and Surveillance & Society.