The Rowman & Littlefield Handbook of Transgender Studies is a comprehensive yet concise overview of important issues, themes, and research on transgender people and populations. Coupling both their scholarly expertise with their lived experiences, the contributors tackle a full gamut of topics, including medical care, education, coming out, bathroom and military politics and possibilities, and the creation of families. The volume opens with an introduction from the editor who outlines her own journey and experience searching for information on “transgender studies” in the early 2010’s. Since then, the field has risen in prominence and is one of the fastest growing areas of research in gender studies. Scholars and students alike will find this to be an accessible and essential primer on the societal forces that impact and shape the lives of transgender people.
J.E. Sumerau (she/they) is associate professor and director of applied sociology at the University of Tampa. She is the author of eleven books and over 75 articles and chapters at the intersections of sexualities, gender, health, violence, and religion.
Using an array of research methods, popular culture examples, and perspectives, The Rowman & Littlefield Handbook of Transgender Studies provides a valuable introduction to the lives and realities of transgender people in the United States. This handbook provides an accessible and effective teaching tool for those seeking to understand how transgender people navigate and experience their lives and interactions within society. It also provides a guide for understanding how normalizing cisgender (not transgender) experiences across social institutions reproduce inequality against transgender communities in the 21st Century.
J.E. Sumerau has put together a series of informative and emotionally compelling essays designed to inform trans people as we struggle to understand ourselves, the societies we are trying to thrive/survive in, and the various options available/unavailable to us as we work to constructive liveable lives. The title of this collection might as well be Trans Studies For Trans People, not that trans people are treated as monolithic, but that trans people in all our diversity need resources that are not primarily academic but rather informative and relevant to us. The book reminds me a little of Ivan Coyote’s Tomboy Survival Guide Lee Airton’s Gender: Your Guide in tone but with broader reach.
We need more stories that engage the multitude of transgender life and politics. In The Handbook of Transgender Studies we are offered an adaptive project that mobilizes a variety of approaches that do not seek to encompass all of transgender studies, but rather break open several avenues for complimentary projects to emerge. It takes a refreshingly personal approach to trans life, seeking to enrich and enliven debate in our field. This collection offers an urgent multiplicity of standpoints and is an invaluable tool for researchers in transgender studies as well as scholars who find themselves mentoring and teaching in the field.
11/10/22, Choice Reviews: This book was highlighted in a roundup of forthcoming reference titles.