The Histories of Trans People (UG) CLASSIC4098

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course takes a cross-cultural look at the experiences and representations of those who have transgressed, defied, or escaped the constraints of binary sex and/or gender. It examines both societies structured along strongly binary lines and those with multiple sex or gender systems. Out of that historical context, it considers the formation of modern typologies, categories, and identities from the early twentieth century onwards, the attendant medical and political narratives, and the intersections with feminist and queer history and theory, and finally charts the development of trans voices, experiences and struggle from the early 1870s onwards.


1x1hr lecture, 1x1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Classics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into Classics, Greek, Latin, or History, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses

The Histories of Trans People (PGT) CLASSIC5119




Presentation (10 minutes) - 25%

Essay (3,000 words) - 75%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Consider the long history of contemporary trans identities and current categories, in the light of their antecedents and parallels across time and space, and the process of category formation.

■ Explore diversity in social and cultural structures, both strongly binary and otherwise.

■ Interrogate the intersections of gender transgression with other social phenomena, including but not limited to sexuality, race, and class.

■ Situate trans history and theory in the context both of feminist and queer history and theory.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify significant antecedents and parallels for contemporary trans identities and experiences.

■ Describe the development of historical categories against evolving social, political, and medical contexts.

■ Compare gender diversity across time, space, culture, and social structure.

■ Analyze the relationship of trans history and theory with feminist and queer theory and history.

■ Evaluate, orally and in written form, the significance, and limitations of different kinds of evidence and modes of representation for establishing a history of trans people.

■ Reflect upon the personal and political significance of trans history.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.