Barnard empowers its students to pursue their passions. In order to provide a stellar education, the College is committed to inclusion for transgender students and members of the community. 

As part of Barnard's celebration of Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-19), the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) hosted keynote speaker Amanda Phillips, professor of English at Georgetown University and author of Gamer Trouble: Feminist Confrontations in Digital Culture, who discussed the intersection between gaming culture and trans, queer, and feminist identity politics on November 17.

“There is a great amount of work still to be done — and Trans Awareness Week shouldn’t be the only time we acknowledge and support our trans community,” said Jennifer Rosales, Vice President of Inclusion and Engaged Learning and Chief Diversity Officer. “The College continues to focus on how our daily practices live up to our collective commitment to recognize and include past, present, and future trans people in the Barnard community.”

trans week event talk
Keynote speaker Amanda Phillips talks with the audience

The event — co-hosted by the Diversity Council, Department of American Studies, Consortium for Critical and Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS), and the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies — deepened community knowledge on issues surrounding gender justice and trans representation in technoculture. 

Phillips described video games as “notoriously toxic environments” and examined both player and game-developer toxicity in contemporary gaming. Phillips’ discussion drew on their research into “gamer trouble” and offered the audience insights about trans survival and resilience in gaming culture — one that Phillips noted is “a hostile territory designed without us in mind.” 

“Phillips’ scholarship reminds us of how media can be used to perpetuate hostile social systems of exclusion and also challenge them,” explained Rosales. “Whether it’s a video game or our college campus, all the players are responsible for cultivating a community that recognizes and supports our trans members.”

Learn more about the event, here.