Ardel Thomas

Ardel Haefele-Thomas

Chair of LGBTQ Studies Department, City College of San Francisco

For the past decade, Ardel Haefele-Thomas has been the Chair of LGBTQ Studies at City College of San Francisco. From doctoral work at Stanford University in Modern Thought and Literature to the present time, Ardel's academic work has focused on the intersections of race, class, sexual orientation and gender identity within contemporary arts, literature and culture as well as historically within 19th Century British literature and culture. Ardel's book, Queer Others in Victorian Gothic: Transgressing Monstrosity was published by the University of Wales/University of Chicago Press in 2012, and Ardel has published numerous articles focusing on various queer aspects in Gothic Literary and Cultural Studies. Currently, Ardel is working with co-author, Thatcher Combs, on an Introduction to Transgender Studies textbook which will be forthcoming from Harrington Park Press (Columbia University Press). ‚ÄčIn Spring 2014, Ardel was honored to be a part of a weekend workshop at California Institute of Integral Studies on teaching supportive ways to teach genderqueer and Trans* students with a focus on curriculum development. As always, Ardel is excited to be coming to Expanding the Circle.

*Photo by Jane Philomen Cleland


Tools For Teaching Trans* Studies

For those of us who teach queer studies, LGBTQI Studies, gender and sexuality studies, ethnic studies, and/or cultural studies how often have we found that students grapple with confusing notions about intersecting identities, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation? Participants in this workshop will have a unique opportunity to not only "test drive" but to help revise the first chapters of a new textbook Introduction to Transgender Studies (forthcoming from Harrington Park Press/Columbia University Press in 2017). This multifaceted workshop will not only ask participants to utilize discussion questions and activities being developed in the book, but to also have fun with embracing a more Freirian model where we all consider ourselves both educators and students. Ardel and Thatcher look forward to taking everyone's ideas and critiques "back to the drawing board" to make this unique textbook as user friendly for students and teachers as possible.

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Find creative and engaging ways (other than merely going over definitions) to help undergraduates understand the differences and similarities between gender identity and expression and sexual orientation - while keeping an understanding that they, along with race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, ability, etc do inform one another.
  2. Look to Trans* issues in a global and historic context to illuminate the ways that gender "variance" and non-binary gender identities have always been with us in numerous cultures.
  3. Help students explore the current tensions between LGB and T politics, communities, and human rights in the United States as well as other parts of the world.
  4. Help the authors shape an introductory book that will actually be useful for all of us teaching in the field - whether it is in the classroom or in our support centers.