Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




“Transsexuality” and Gender Ratio in Poland: A Case Study in the East/West Dichotomy

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Please join the East Central European Center at the Harriman Institute for a presentation by cultural studies scholar Ludmiła Janion (University of Warsaw), moderated by Małgorzata Mazurek, Associate Professor of Polish Studies, Columbia University.

In this talk, Ludmiła Janion will investigate scientific and journalistic discourses around differences in gender ratio among trans persons. The disparity between Poland and several Western countries, first noted in the 1980s, was repeatedly associated with the different gender politics in the capitalist West and (post)state socialist East. The talk will examine this explanation to show how the ratio was employed as a comparative and ultimately normative tool. Janion hopes to elucidate the interrelations between (trans)sexuality and anxieties over European geopolitics in the 1980s and 1990s.


Ludmiła Janion is a cultural studies scholar and Assistant Professor at the American Studies Center, University of Warsaw. Her research and teaching interests include media, gender, and sexuality studies. Janion received her M.A. degrees in philosophy (Institute of Philosophy, UW) and American studies (American Studies Center, UW) and her PhD in cultural studies (“Artes Liberales”, UW). In her doctoral dissertation, she analyzed the westernization of discourses of gender nonconformity during the transition era in Poland. She has published in Central Europe and Sexualities.



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