What is gender? Vol. II

Now Including Sexuality, Intersectionality, and Trans Identity


Rowan Bell (Syracuse University); rabell@syr.edu

Katrina Haaksma (Indiana University); kajahaak@iu.edu

Sofie Vlaad (Queens University); 16sv8@queensu.ca

Jaana Virta (Tampere University); jaana.virta@tuni.fi

Access the abstracts book here

All times are in UTC (EST -5, BST +1, etc.)


15.00 – 15.30 – Welcome to the Workshop – Jaana Virta, Katrina Haaksma, Sofie Vlaad, and Rowan Bell, organizers

15.30 – 16.30 – “An Intersectional and Historical Critique of the Gender Category Approach in Gender Metaphysics” – Katelijne Malomgré – Chair: Kevin Richardson

**30 minute break**

17.00 – 18.00 – “Gender and Reification: Reading Sally Haslanger as a Marxist Feminist” – Michael Davin – Chair: Tessel Veneboer

18.15 – 19.15 – “Gender Meta-Trouble” – Jay Luong & Stephania Donayre Pimentel  – Chair: Jasper Heaton

**30 minute break**

19.45 – 21.15 – Keynote Address: Louise Antony – “Amelioration is Impossible and (Fortunately) Unnecessary” – Chair: Jaana Virta


15.00 – 16.00 – “Gender and Race: Doing Metaphysics Without Language” – Dee Payton – Chair: Matt Andler

16.15 – 17.15 – “Intersectionality as Emergence” – Marta Jorba & Dan López de Sa – Chair: Michael Davin

17.30 – 18.30 – “Gender Pluralism and Gender Indeterminacy” – Kevin Richardson – Chair: Ray Briggs

**30 minute break**

19.00 – 20.30 – Keynote Address: Sara Bernstein – “Intersectional Oppression as Proportionate Causation” – Chair: Sofie Vlaad

20.45 – 21.45 – Coffee, drinks, discussion


15.30 – 16.30 – “A Desire-Based Account of Gender Identity” – Richard Rowland – Chair: Esa Diáz-Leòn

16.45 – 17.45 – “What kind of question is ‘what is gender?’?” – B.R. George & R.A. Briggs – Chair: Dan López de Sa

18.00 – 19.00 – “Gender Identity and Transfeminism as Realism” Jasper Heaton – Chair: Marta Jorba

**30 minute break**

19.30 – 21.00 – Keynote Address: Marquis Bey – “Notes on (Trans)Gender: Autotheoretical Meditations on the Trans, the Cis, and the Black —Toward Abolition” – Chair: Rowan Bell

21:15 – 22:15 – Coffee, drinks, discussion


15.00 – 16.00 – “What Does Gender Want?” – Tessel Veneboer – Chair: Katelijne Malomgré

16.15 – 17.15 – “What Is Masculinity?” – Matt Andler – Chair: Richard Rowland

**30 minute break**

17.45 – 18.45 – “Sexual Orientations, Sexual Desires, Sex, and Gender” – Esa Diáz-Leòn – Chair: Dee Payton

19.00 – 20.30 – Keynote Address: Talia Bettcher – “Personhood, Gender, and Moral Sex” – Chair: Katrina Haaksma

20.45 – 21.45 – Coffee, drinks, planning to smash oppression

What Is Gender, vol. II: Now Including Sexuality, Intersectionality, and Trans Identity 

The question What is gender? has been the subject of much debate in philosophy, social and political theory, and feminist theory. From Judith Butler’s performance theory, to Sally Haslanger’s materialist structuralism, to Charlotte Witt’s theory of gender as a unifying social role, the foundations of contemporary metaphysics of gender invite a wide range of further study. Much attention has been given to questions like: Should we understand gender as a hierarchical system of political subjugation? Or, as Ásta suggests, as a context-dependent social status that can be conferred or revoked?

Recent scholarship aimed at addressing this question has drawn attention to the way that the metaphysics of gender is impacted by other features of identity, including for example race, class, and sexuality. These dimensions of gender deserve careful and collaborative consideration from philosophers and social theorists alike. Recently, more attention is being paid to the metaphysics of the relations between gender and other social categories. Sara Bernstein, for instance, offers an account of the metaphysics of intersectionality. Robin Dembroff has argued that we should understand ‘genderqueer’ as a ‘critical gender kind’, and Talia Bettcher has argued that sexual orientation involves a gendered eroticization of the self. There is still much work to be done in addressing the questions like what role does self-identification play in constructing gender? Is sexuality socially constructed in the same way as gender? How does gender influence our desires?

The first What is gender and what do we want it to be? workshop was organized through MANCEPT workshops in 2020. It was a huge success both philosophically and socially, and it brought together more than 100 people around the world to discuss these topics. To further this discussion, in 2021 we decided to organize another iteration of the workshop, this time focusing on specific related themes. We propose these different but interconnected themes for each of the four days of the workshop:

  • The metaphysics of gender; 
  • The metaphysics of sexuality;
  • The metaphysics of trans identity; and
  • The metaphysics of intersectionality.