Presented by Dean Spade

We are sad to announce that Dean Spade has cancelled his visit to GVSU this Thursday due to a death in the family. All Spade events for Thursday, November 14th, are cancelled. It is our hope to bring him to GVSU in the future. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, November 14th at 6 p.m. in the Cook/DeWitt Auditorium

Dean Spade will be presenting selections from his recent book, Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law. In Normal Life, Dean uses Critical Race Theory, women of color feminism, and other intellectual traditions to analyze the role of law reform in contemporary queer and trans politics. He examines the poverty, violence, criminalization and immigration enforcement facing trans populations, and questions the utility of anti-discrimination law and hate crimes laws for addressing these harms. He proposes that a critical trans politics is emerging that rejects law reform as a goal and engages tactically with legal work as it attempts to dismantle apparatuses of racialized-gendered violence like prisons and borders and build alternative structures that meaningfully address contemporary conditions of poverty and violence.

NOTE: You need not to have read Deans Spades Normal Life to attend. If you are interested in reading Normal Life, check out our book discussion groups!

Connections to the Classroom

LIB 100/201 Approved

Speaker Bio: Dean Spade

Dean Spade is an Assistant Professor at the Seattle University School of Law, teaching Administrative Law, Poverty Law, and Law and Social Movements. In 2002, he founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, a non-profit law collective that provides free legal help to intersex, trans and gender non-conforming low-income people and people of color and works to build racial and economic justice-centered trans resistance. He is the author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law (South End Press 2011).

Learning Outcomes:

  • Critical Thinking  Students will examine how social factors -- such as race, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression -- contribute to the distribution of life chances.
  • Intercultural Knowledge and Competence  Students will explore how legislation designed to protect a certain class of people can have unintended consequences for that demographic.

Related Articles:

Intersectional Resistance and Law Reform

Spade, D (2013). Intersectional resistance and law reform . Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. , 38 (4), p. 1031  1055.

Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law by Dean Spade

Spade, D. (2011) Normal life: Administrative violence, critical trans politics and the limits of law. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

Some Very Basic Tips for Making Higher Education More Accessible to Trans Students and Rethinking How We Talk about Gendered Bodies

Spade, D.(2011). Some very basic tips for making higher education more accessible to trans students and rethinking how we talk about gendered bodies. Radical Teacher 92(1), 57-62.

Related Video:

Dean Spade's Trans* Politics Manifesto " Impossibility Now." The full length, nine minute video is below.

"What is Neoliberalism?" by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, featuring interviews with Lisa Duggan, Miranda Joseph, Sealing Cheng, Elizabeth Bernstein, Dean Spade, Sandra K. Soto, Teresa Gowan, and Ana Amuchástegui.