GWS Spotlight

GWS Faculty Spotlight on Toby Beauchamp

2/13/2018  8:00 am

My research focuses the critical lens of transgender studies on questions of state power, science, and technology, and on transnational flows of knowledge, bodies, and capital. Currently, I am pursuing these interests through work on surveillance and security mechanisms and new research on the development and use of synthetic hormones. I earned a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from the University of California at Davis, and a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (a substitute for Gender & Women’s Studies, which offered no major at the time of my degree!) from the University of Florida.

Prior to joining GWS at Illinois, I was a faculty member at Oklahoma State University, and before that, the Lionel Cantú Memorial Fellow in the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at UC San Diego. When not at work, I most enjoy spending time outdoors. I am an avid backpacker and am currently section-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Classes being taught regularly at the University of Illinois

GWS 100: Introduction to Gender & Women’s Studies

GWS 366: Feminist Disability Studies

GWS 470: Transgender Studies

GWS 590: Topics in GWS: Critical Disability Studies

Research Specialization

Transgender and queer theory

Transnational feminist cultural studies

Disability studies

Science and technology studies

Current research projects

I am currently completing a book titled Going Stealth: Transgender Politics and U.S. Surveillance Practices, which is under contract with Duke University Press. This book examines various forms of U.S. state surveillance—ranging from ID documents to biometric data collection—to show how they produce the very categories and figures of gendered deviance that they purport to simply identify. My aim is not to uncover particular truths about transgender subjects, but to understand how gender nonconformity is constructed and made visible through modes of surveillance that may not ever name “transgender” as a category of concern. I am also developing new research on the transnational production and circulation of synthetic hormones in relation to gender nonconformity.

What drew you to the department of gender and women’s studies? (1-2 sentences)

I’m inspired by the vibrant research, community work, and social justice endeavors that our faculty and students are engaged in. And I’m grateful for our department’s commitment to work that is both generous and intellectually rigorous.