Research seminar with Dr Joseph Goh: "Spirituality and Identity and Formations of Malaysian Transgender Men"

Dr Joseph Goh presents 'Gendering Spirituality and Spiritualising Gender: Identity Formations of Malaysian Transgender Men.'

The Centre for Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds is delighted to announce a research seminar with Dr Joseph Goh. Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies, Monash University (Malaysia). 

The title of his presentation is Gendering Spirituality and Spiritualising Gender: Identity Formations of Malaysian Transgender Men.

This presentation discusses how the intersection of gender and spirituality is pivotal to the becomings of transgender men in Muslim-majority Malaysia where any deviation from normative gender and sexual configurations is frowned upon and even subjected to Syariah prosecution. The category of spirituality, understood in this presentation as an intimate recasting and personalisation of ‘official’ religious beliefs, is sometimes overlooked in transgender studies despite being a crucial marker of identity for many transgender people, including transgender Malaysians of faith. Transgender men in the country demonstrate a plethora of strategies in the interplay between gender and faith identities. Some engage in radical reinterpretations of traditional religious beliefs in order to create spaces where the confluence of gender and spirituality can yield productive outcomes of liveability. For others, a self-defined understanding and practice of faith steers them in the direction of remaining true to themselves as concomitantly transgender and spiritual persons.

Joseph N. Goh is a Senior Lecturer in Gender Studies at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. He holds a PhD in gender, sexuality and theology, and his research interests include queer and LGBTI studies, human rights and sexual health issues, diverse theological and religious studies, and qualitative research. Goh is the author of numerous publications, including Doing Church at the Amplify Open and Affirming Conferences: Queer Ecclesiologies in Asia (2021), Becoming a Malaysian Trans Man: Gender, Society, Body and Faith (2020) and Living Out Sexuality and Faith: Body Admissions of Malaysian Gay and Bisexual Men (2018).

The seminar will take place online, via Microsoft Teams, and is open to members of the Centre for Religion and Public Life, other academic staff and research students at Leeds, and anyone with an interest in the topic. To receive the seminar link, please contact Prof. Adriaan van Klinken.