Well, I was going to write a summary of the Trans Studies Now conference, much as I did for Talking Bodies, but Cheryl Morgan has done it much better than I could: here. I was lucky enough to have dinner with the Hugo award winning Cheryl and author Roz Kaveney the night before the conference which went some way to settling my nerves. They were both very lovely and chatty and it was a relief to have some friendly faces in the room when I was presenting.
I think my paper went fairly well. I could feel myself talking a bit too fast at points and tried to slow down. I’ve never really spoken in front of a crowd before but it wasn’t as bad as I was worried it would be. The room seemed to receive the paper well, no one actively hissed or booed anyway. It’s lessened my concerns about teaching in September too.
It was lovely meeting so many people who shared my interests and who did’t get the usual glaze in their eyes when I start talking about authenticity of self and lived experience. I would have liked to have actually spoken to more people but it was a pretty busy day and I had to shoot off a bit early to get on the road at a time that didn’t mean I’d be getting to the mate’s i was kipping at after midnight.
My plan is to turn the conference paper into the first chapter of my thesis. I think I’ll keep it as it is, with the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie TED talk part, but build more actual trans theory into the close reading whereas in the paper I just mentioned the themes. I’ll obviously also be expanding the close reading and using more texts. I think I’ve pretty much got my chapter plan sorted now, which makes me feel a bit more secure, like I might actually be able to do this PhD thing, which isn’t something I’ve really felt since I was first applying for scholarships. I do need to have a bit of a think about how I’m going to use blogs, I think I’ll need to add them into my main chapters rather than having separate chapters. In which case I need to actually find some blogs.
I also need to work out my methodology, how I’m going to justify my use of the specific narratives I’ve chosen. Which means I need to think up some specifications and find blogs/books to match. At the moment it’s just trans-authored, post-90s narratives, but for the blogs I’m hoping to be a bit more specific and find some by trans people of colour. There’s a serious lack of representation in the formal publishing world of TPOC which is my original reasoning for using blogs and self-published works. I just need to do some work on finding a few more and picking which ones to use.