Trans* Speaker Series: 'Writing as a Queer, Trans, Woman of Color'
October 20, 2016
UMass Amherst Campus
Ryka Aoki speaks on "Writing as a Queer, Trans, Woman of Color."
"As a trans woman of color, I write fully aware of expectations from readers, publishers, and even my own ethics, to create socially conscious narratives that affirm, question, or confess one’s truth. Yet, these expectations can limit and intimidate a writer, especially when one wants to write a speculative story, a subversive story, or even a story without the everyday gravitas of life in the margins. In this talk, I will discuss my own work, as well as the work of writers such as Imogen Binnie, Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison to explore the complications of writing for community while satisfying one’s own creative goals."
Aoki is a two-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, the author of "Seasonal Velocities," "He Mele a Hilo"(A Hilo Song) and "Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul." Aoki was named as one of “11 Trans Artists of Color You Should Know” by the Huffington Post. Aoki was honored by the California State Senate for “extraordinary commitment to the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” She has MFA in creative writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College.
In conjunction with Gender Liberation UMass, the Office of the Provost, the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, Gender Studies at Mount Holyoke College, WGSS is organizing a Trans* Studies Speaker Series over this academic year.