stef m. shuster will discuss Trans Medicine: The Emergency and Practice of Treating Gender. They will be joined in conversation by Brandon Hill.
Presented in partnership with the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality (CSGS) at the University of Chicago and the Howard Brown Health Center for Education, Research, and Advocacy
About the book: Surfacing in the mid-twentieth century, yet shrouded in social stigma, transgender medicine is now a rapidly growing medical field. In Trans Medicine, stef shuster makes an important intervention in how we understand the development of this field and how it is being used to “treat” gender identity today. Drawing on interviews with medical providers as well as ethnographic and archival research, shuster examines how health professionals approach patients who seek gender-affirming care. From genital reconstructions to hormone injections, the practice of trans medicine charts new medical ground, compelling medical professionals to plan treatments without widescale clinical trials to back them up. Relying on cultural norms and gut instincts to inform their treatment plans, shuster shows how medical providers’ lack of clinical experience and scientific research undermines their ability to interact with patients, craft treatment plans, and make medical decisions. This situation defies how providers are trained to work with patients and creates uncertainty. As providers navigate the developing knowledge surrounding the medical care of trans folk, Trans Medicine offers a rare opportunity to understand how providers make decisions while facing challenges to their expertise and, in the process, have acquired authority not only over clinical outcomes, but over gender itself.
About the author: stef shuster is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in Lyman Briggs College and the Department of Sociology. shuster earned their M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Iowa with a certificate in Gender Studies, and a B.A. in Sociology from Indiana University, Bloomington. Broadly, their research and teaching interests include medical sociology, gender, inequality, and social movements.
About the interlocutor: Brandon Hill is the Executive Director of the Howard Brown Heath Center for Education, Research, and Advocacy. Prior to joining Howard Brown, Hill served as the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains and was Executive Director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3) in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Chicago. Hill received his B.A. in Gender Studies and Biology and PhD in Gender Studies from Indiana University. Beyond his sexual and reproductive health and academic-center management experience, Hill is also a Research Fellow of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and was recently named as one of fifty Distinguished Sexual and Gender Health Revolutionaries by the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Institute for Sexual and Gender Health.