'Queering bodies is about celebrating disruptive bodies': Meet the trans lecturer leading A Festival of Dangerous Ideas week 7

A Festival of Dangerous Ideas week 7 welcomes Dr. Francis Ray White and drag performer Anziety for a seminar all about fat/trans: queering the body.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 7

Dr Francis Ray White speaks on queering bodies and fat trans representation ahead of their seminar for Cork Gay Project’s A Festival of Dangerous Ideas week 7. 

After a phenomenal six weeks of elevating ideas around the queer experience to the highwire, A Festival of Dangerous Ideas welcomes Dr White, who will be talking about trans masc bodies and fat trans embodiment. This seminar will be a fascinating chance to engage with questions such as how can fat activism be useful to trans people and how are fat bodies queer?

Dr White currently works on research projects about fat/trans embodiment, trans pregnancy, and the experiences of non-binary people in HE. They are a senior lecturer in Sociology at the University of Westminster as well as a volunteer for the charity Gendered Intelligence and promoter for the queer club night Unskinny Bop.

Speaking about their in-depth research into fat/trans embodiment, Dr. White opened up about their interest in this field, “Well, I am fat and trans so I was already thinking about how those things intersect in my own life and embodiment. But I’m also a fat studies researcher, and what I was finding was that although there was a lot of work on gender in fat studies, it usually assumed a cisgender body. Likewise in trans studies work, the discussions about bodies were normally based on an idea of a slender body, so there was a real gap in terms of thinking about bodies that are both fat and trans, and more generally how these two fields could come together.”

Ahead of their dazzling debut in A Festival of Dangerous Ideas week 7, Dr White shared what audience members can expect, “Perhaps to be opened up to different ways of thinking about the body, fatness and gender! I want to bring some of the ideas of fat activism/fat studies to a queer audience in the hope of showing how relevant they are to us as queer people.”

On Twitter, Gay Project shared their excitement for week 7, “We’re here! We’re Queer! And we are not going shopping!..We’re going to Queer Hedge School! This week our amazing guests are Scholar Dr. White, beaming in from London, and our Artist is drag performer Anziety.”

The one and only Anziety will be taking over the Break for Art portion of the Festival. During lockdown, they hosted the return of SIS night over on Instagram to keep everyone entertained so expect another great digital showcase from them.

With a riveting topic such as fat/trans: queering the body, this week promises to be an unmissable experience. Dr White spoke further on the theme, “Queering bodies to me is about recognising and celebrating disruptive bodies – bodies that blur boundaries, or that don’t ‘fit’ (literally or metaphorically) into neat little boxes. I think it’s about seeing those bodies as exposing the lie that anybody fits neatly into a box, but also asking why the boxes are there in the first place!”

If you want to join in on A Festival of Dangerous Ideas, tickets can be found at this link. All 12 sessions are free.

The recordings for the past sessions and transcripts can be found at festival of dangerous ideas.ie.

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