UWinnipeg would like to acknowledge International Transgender Day of Visibility that takes place annually on March 31. This year celebrates 10 years of recognizing transgender people while raising awareness of the discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.
UWinnipeg offers courses through the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies (WGS) that teach an intersectional feminist approach to understanding the world around us. The department honours the diversity of its students and strives to reflect this in its curriculum, building knowledge and skills to contribute to social justice. WGS is an interdisciplinary department focused on developing a critical consciousness of societal inequalities, including those based on systemic forms of oppression and discrimination. Courses include: Sex, Sexuality, Gender & Audiovisual; Boys, Men & Masculinities on Film; Queer Studies in the Global Postmodern; and Gender, Race & Nation in Canada.
“The WGS department would like to acknowledge the important and powerful intellectual, artistic, and community-based contributions of transgender teachers, scholars, and cultural workers to the field of women’s and gender studies and to society at large,” said Dr. Roewan Crowe, UWinnipeg Chair, WGS.
To mark International Transgender Day of Visibility we invite you to meet two of UWinnipeg’s transgender instructors, Owen Campbell and Lara Rae.
Campbell is teaching a course in Food Cultures, Sex, and Gender. The course discusses a wide array of topics including queers in farming, fatphobia and the “obesity” epidemic, and the linguistics of food, Campbell’s specialization.
“I try to encourage students to also bring food in to class, not only to eat in class (it’s 3 hours long!) but to also share if they’d like,” said Campbell. “Food is so integral to most cultures, but white settlers don’t really feel that as much, and so I like to have that discussion, in different ways, in every class.”
When Campbell is not in class you can find him at Fort Whyte Farms working in educational programming and he teaches under-served youth to cook.
On campus Campbell’s favourite lunch is the one he brings, “but I do love coffee from Panageas.”
He has two dogs, both husky/shepherd crosses named Molly Parton and Chips. His favourite movie is Across the Universe; his favourite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany. If you had a super power it would be, “time travel for sure!”
As a linguist Campbell’s partial to all words, but if he had to pick a favourite word right now it is “‘indeed’, I’m using it quite a bit.”
Rae is self-described book nerd which is reflected in the course she teaches, Trans Lit. The course is a lively survey of contemporary 20th to 21st century trans and non-binary writing with a strong focus on new works in prose, poetry, graphic novels, and drama. Lectures place the works within the framework of feminist and other historic activist communities and texts as well as examining the impact of imperial, racial, and colonial policies on diversity within gender presentations and texts worldwide between the 17th century.
When not in class, Rae, an award-winning TV and radio writer, performer, and host, can be found on stage or at the Winnipeg Comedy Festival, which she co-founded, “or at the library (lol) or at a the symphony a movie or a play!”
Her favourite spot on campus, “Other than our classroom, is the library,” shared Rae. “It’s heaven to have access to so many books. I also do love the bookstore.”
Rae’s favourite lunch on or around campus is found at Panagea’s, “I love the various yummy bowls they make. Also the variety of snack bars. It’s like a chocolate bar you can pretend is good for you.”
As for pets, Rae has two children, “who happen to be rats. Their names are Petal and Petra and they are furry and sweet.” Rae has a nick-name, “but not that they say to my face!”
Rae’s favourite movie changes daily, “Right now A Quiet Passion about Emily Dickinson and A Fantastic Woman, the Chilean film about a trans woman.”
Her favourite book is The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by the American author Carson McCullers. Favourite super hero is Spiderman, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse film was amazing.”
Her super power would be,”Reverse Hulk: to be under threat to become calmer and more zen.”
Her favourite word, “Transgender. :)”
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