Publié le June 25, 2019 | Updated on November 29, 2019

Todd Reeser : Transgender "à la Française"

L'universalisme transgenre

As an American academic who works in both French studies and in gender studies and who has spent significant time working in France, I often hear academics on one side of the Atlantic tell me how those on the other side are studying questions of identity improperly. Americans express skepticism at the French model of universalism, by which one is a citizen first and a “particular” form of identity (e.g. woman, homosexual, Jew) second.

“Is universalism not just a way to efface their identity as X?” French academics, on the other hand, often talk to me about the American obsession with identity. “How can you have a gender studies program, or an ethnic studies program over there? Is that not a way to categorize and isolate forms of identity instead of including them in the collective?” This Franco-American intellectual disconnection tends to revolve around questions related to race, ethnicity, religion, sex, or sexuality.
  • Sources
    Published in FELLOWS n°58
  • Author(s)
    Todd Reeser