I Want to Learn How to Think Beyond Academic Disciplines

Vol.7 2010.03.23 SHIMIZU Akiko

"My" Body and Self-Determination: Shedding Light from the Transsexual and Intersexed Bodies

In this lecture, we will explore ‹Who› owns a body that is seen as ‹My Body› and how far ‹My› rights to determination can be claimed of the body, with particular references to what have been problematized by the transsexual and intersexed bodies. ‹My Body› and ‹Me›, as shown by the possessive here, are not the exact same entities. However, at the same time, the demand that ‹My Body› should be first and foremost be ‹My› body and the rights to determination regarding it should belong primarily to ‹Me› is one of the core claims of feminist theories and queer theories that originated from those who were largely denied their rights to determination in particular socio-cultural contexts. This time, while taking specific examples, I would like to ponder about how ‹I› and various socio-cultural institutions that surround/form ‹My Body› have been negotiating, complicit with each other, or in what sorts of tension they have been.

*Participants of this lecture should complete the following assignment before the class*

Assignment: Please do research (which does not need to be extensive or exhaustive) on the so-called "Sex Suspicion" surrounding Caster Semenya, the gold medalist in the women's 800 meters at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics and prepare to discuss your ideas about the IAAF (International Association of hletics Federations)'s response to it. If you referred to websites or news reports to do this assignment, please bring them to the class as much as possible (Materials may be English, Chinese, or Japanese).

1)Introductory Discussion – Sex "Suspicion" Surrounding Caster Semenya
2)Issues over ‹Body Autonomy›
3)Otherness of ‹My Body›
4)"Gender Identity Disorder" and Transsexuals' Rights to Self-Determination – "Act on Special Provisions for Handling Gender for People with Gender Identity Disorder" and Issues Surrounding It
5)Medical Interventions and the Intersex Movement
6) (If time permits) Final Discussion Theme


Associate Professor at the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies/Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo. MA in English Literature (University of Tokyo), MA in Sexual Politics, Ph.D. in Critical and Cultural Theory (University of Wales, Cardiff). Main fields of research include Feminist/Queer Theories. Publications include "Lying Bodies: Survival and Subversion in the Field of Vision"(Peter Lang Pub Inc, 2008).
  • Susan Stryker and Stephen White eds., The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge, 2006)の中から
  • 14. Judith Butler, "Doing Justice to Someone: Sex Reassignment and Allegories of Transsexuality", pp.183-193.
  • 20. Jay Prosser, "Judith Butler: Queer Feminism, Transgender, and the Transubstantiation of Sex", pp.257-280.
  • 22. Cheryl Chase, "Hermaphrodites with Attitude: Mapping the Emergence of Intersex Political Activism", pp.300-314.
  • 米沢泉美編著『トランスジェンダリズム宣言—性別の自己決定権と多様な性の肯定』(社会批評社、2003)
  • 石田仁編著『性同一性障害——ジェンダー・医療・特例法』(御茶の水書房、2008年)
  • アリス・ドレガー著『私たちの仲間——結合双生児と多様な身体の未来』(緑風出版、2004年)
  • Alice Domurat Dreger, One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal (Harvard University Press, 2004)

Intersex Initiative Japan http://www.intersexinitiative.org/japan/

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