University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Geography colloquium - Treva Ellison

Friday, October 6, 2017
12:20pm – 1:15pm

Storrs Campus
AUST 434

Black Trans Reproductive Labor

This talk builds on scholarship and activism that is theorizing black queer and trans history and politics in relationship to racial capitalism. I offer black trans reproductive labor as a way to through how black trans and gender non-conforming people have been historically positioned in relationship to the carceral state and the role that positioning plays in the reproduction of gendered social relations of racial capitalism. Using archival examples from my research on queer criminality in Los Angeles, I will share three stories in which black trans and gender non-conforming people come into archival view not only in the context of work and labor, but also through their interface with the carceral state: three black domestic workers in 1949, Sir Lady Java in 1967, and Laverne Turner in 1970. These stories emphasize how vital the racialization of space is to articulations of queer criminality, how labor and capital are necessary to theorizing black trans and queer positionality, and why queer history helps to expand our understanding of how racial capitalism operates.

Biography: Treva Ellison is a committed troublemaker, prison abolitionist, amateur herbalist, and talented grilled cheese chef, who also happens to work as an Assistant Professor of Geography and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Treva’s research interests are trans and queer historiography, carceral geographies, and social movements. Treva’s writing can be found in places such as Transgender Studies Quarterly, C Magazine, Feminist Wire, and Scholar and Feminist Online. Treva is currently working on their manuscript project, Flex Zones, which traces the articulation of trans and queer criminality in relation to the racialization of space, and historicizes queer activism and advocacy and its shifting relationship to the carceral state from 1970 through 1990. Treva earned their doctorate in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California in 2015 and currently works at Dartmouth College.

Co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Institute and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies


Scott Stephenson

Geography Department (primary), Africana Studies Institute, Anthropology Department, History Department, Rainbow Center, UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

Control Panel