Now in its third season, Jill Soloway’s award-winning series Transparent has been described as “revolutionary television” for its trans-affirmative approach to queerness, trans politics, and gender identity. Using innovative visual storytelling of the sort that is usually reserved for documentary feature productions, foregrounds and engages certain marginalized voices.
We were joined for a screening of two episodes: Season 2, Episode 9 “Man on the Land” and Season 3, Episode 1 “Elizah.” Amy Villarejo, author of Ethereal Queer: Television, Historicity, Desire (2014), joined Carsey-Wolf Center Director Patrice Petro for a post-screening discussion of transgender emergence as well as Jewishness and queerness within this highly-acclaimed popular television series.
Professor Amy Villarejo (Performing and Media Arts, Cornell University)
Amy Villarejo has published widely in cinema and media studies, with research on feminist and queer media, documentary film, Brazilian cinema, Indian cinema, American television, critical theory, and cultural studies. Her first book, Lesbian Rule: Cultural Criticism and the Value of Desire (Duke University Press), won the Katherine Singer Kovacs award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies for best book in the field in 2003. She has written on Hollywood (Queen Christina, from BFI Publishing) and on television, in her most recent monograph Ethereal Queer: Television, Historicity, Desire (Duke University Press). Her work intersects with cultural studies, and, with co-editor Matthew Tinkcom, she has edited a volume exploring that intersection entitled Keyframes (Routledge). With Jordana Rosenberg, she is co-editor of a special issue of the journal GLQ on “Queer Studies and the Crises of Capitalism.” For students and general readers interested in cinema and media, she is the author of Film Studies: The Basics (Routledge) and Film Studies: A Global Introduction. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Film Quarterly, Cinema Journal, New German Critique, Social Text, and numerous anthologies and edited collections.
Moderator Patrice Petro
Patrice Petro is a Professor of Film and Media Studies and Dick Wolf Director of the Carsey-Wolf Center and Presidential Chair in Media Studies. She is the author, editor, and co-editor of eleven books, such as After Capitalism: Horizons of Finance, Culture, and Citizenship (with Kennan Ferguson, 2016), Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art, and Social Practices (with A. Aneesh and Lane Hall, 2011), Aftershocks of the New: Feminism and Film History (2002), and Joyless Streets: Women and Melodramatic Representation in Weimar Germany (1989). Most recently, she has completed a volume entitled The Routledge Companion to Cinema and Gender (with Kristin Hole, Dijana Jelaca, and E. Ann Kaplan), which was released in 2017.
The event is sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center.
While transgender issues have been represented on film for at least a decade, recent media work more fully engages the views and creative labor of transgender and gender-variant people. Trans Media at the Pollock Theater will showcase contemporary media work in television, narrative filmmaking, and critical documentary in an effort to explore the relationship between sexual orientation and gender identity outside of a rigid binary view of the world.
In recognition of the extraordinary accomplishments of the Center’s namesakes, Dick Wolf and Marcy Carsey, the Carsey-Wolf Center is committed to examining television as an institution, industry, and cultural form. In our post-network, multi-channel, multi-media environment, understanding television demands understanding its past as well as its future, through exploration of individual episodes, mini-series, and documentaries.