CFP Communication Teacher Special Issue: Teaching Trans-Affirming, Intersectional Gender

Published on 22 March par Heta Rundgren

Guest Editors: Dr. Benny LeMaster, California State University Long Beach and Dr. Amber Johnson, Saint Louis University

Key words: trans/gender non-conforming, intersectionality, and social

We are teaching gender in what we call a ?Post-Jenner? era; a moment in
which mass audiences have increased access to transgender and gender
non-conforming (TGN) discourse as a result of increasing pop culture
representation. At the same time, politicians exploit normative fears
around gender difference through bathroom legislation and other
gender-regulating mechanisms while others embody a non-intersectional ally
status in which race, class, and ability, for instance, are dismissed. The
effect is a reductive understanding of ?transgender? told through a
normative lens. In this way, cisgender (non-transgender) students may
experience apprehension over saying ?the wrong thing? while TGN students
may experience the weight of cultural curiosity placed on their shoulders.
And as teachers, we may find ourselves uncertain where to continue or where
to spark a question of gender that affirms transgender subjectivities and
their intersectional complexities. As communication teachers committed to
social justice, we believe this focus to be imperative: the life expectancy
for TGN folks is 30-32 years of age (Murphy, 2012); in 2016 at least 21
transgender people (mostly folks of color) were brutally murdered (Human
Rights Campaign, 2015); the unemployment rate for TGN folks of color is
four times the national rate and, as a result, TGN folks are four times
more likely to have an annual household income of less than $10,000 (Grant,
Mottet, & Tanis, 2011); over 40% of TGN folks have attempted suicide
whereas only 1.6% of the general population has done so (Grant, Mottet, &
Tanis, 2011); 1 in 6 TGN folks have been incarcerated while 41% of Black
TGN folks have been incarcerated (Marksamer & Tobin, 2014). Indeed,
intersectional, trans-affirming discussions of gender are vital.

We invite activities that teach and/or engage questions of gender and
communication in intersectional, trans-affirming ways. Specifically, we
seek a broad range of activities ranging between K-12 and introductory
levels to the post-graduate level. Topics may include:

Mediated identities

Gendered rhetorics

Prison abolition


Gender identity/sex assignment

Differences and overlaps between sexuality and gender


Social justice

Affect and Embodiment






Gender attribution and/or identity

Difference and similarity; positionality

Privilege-disadvantage dialectic


Single Class Activities. Communication educators in all contexts are
invited to submit original teaching activities for classroom implementation
within a framework of critical communication pedagogy. Activities may
address any communication course, including, for e.g., research methods,
technologies, theory, family, gender, health, interpersonal, intercultural,
instructional, mass, organizational, public relations, rhetoric and public
speaking, and small group, whether introductory or advanced. Each
submission should contain the following components: (1) a brief title; (2)
the course(s) for which the activity is intended; (3) the objective(s) or
learning outcome(s) for the activity; (4) a brief theoretical rationale for
conducting the activity; (5) a description/explanation of the activity,
including any preparation/preliminary steps and necessary materials; (6) a
debriefing, including typical results; (7) an appraisal of the activity,
including any limitations or variations; and (8) references. The
application of critical communication pedagogy should be clearly
identified. Single Class submissions should generally contain no more than
2000 words.

Unit Activities. This may entail an original teaching activity that takes
place throughout an entire class unit (e.g., a relational communication
unit on ?Conflict in Relationships?) that spans several days or weeks. The
application of critical communication pedagogy should be clearly
identified. A unit activity should follow the same format as the single
class activity, and should contain no more than 2500 words. Semester-long
Activities. Original teaching activities that outline a semester-long
project or approach to an entire course are also welcome. The application
to critical communication pedagogy should be clearly identified. These
manuscripts should follow the same format of the single class activity and
should generally contain no more than 3000 words.

All manuscripts must conform to the Publication Manual of the
American Psychological Association (6th edition, 2009) and should not be
under editorial review for other journals. Please identify your submission
on the cover sheet as one of the following designations:


original teaching activity single class

original teaching activity unit

original teaching activity semester long

Submissions that do not follow the components listed in this call will be
returned to the author for format revisions. Submissions sent out for
consideration will receive anonymous review by at least two members of the
special issue Editorial Board. The decision not to publish a manuscript is
final. Rather than submitting pieces through ScholarOne, all submissions
should be sent to both guest editors by June 1, 2017. We welcome questions
and inquiries.

Benny LeMaster, guest editor ( and Amber Johnson,
guest editor (


Murphy, A. (2012, Oct 1). No more ?lying?: Law bolsters transgender
Argentines. All Things Considered. Podcast retrieved from

Human Rights Campaign. (2015, Nov). Addressing anti-transgender violence:
Exploring realities, challenges and solutions for policymakers and
community advocates. Retrieved from

Grant, J. M., Mottet, L. A., & Tanis, J. (2011). Injustice at every turn: A
report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. Retrieved from

Marksamer, J., & Tobin, H. J. (2014). Standing with LGBT prisoners: An
advocate?s guide to ending abuse and combating imprisonment. Retrieved from

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