Villanova University’s 32nd Annual Gender and Women’s Studies Conference Welcomes New York University’s Emma Heaney, PhD

Emma Heaney, PhD

VILLANOVA, Pa – Portrayals of gender in literature have long been points of contention, contemplation and conversation for scholars. How do sexuality, gender expression and related matters influence how, what and why we read?

On Friday, Feb. 10, Emma Heaney, PhD, associate director and clinical assistant professor in the XE Program in Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement at New York University (NYU), will consider these matters in “Literature Against Cisness,” the keynote address for the 2023 Gender and Women’s Studies Student Research Conference.

Dr. Heaney is a nationally recognized scholar of comparative literature, feminist studies and trans studies. Her first book, The New Woman: Literary Modernism, Queer Theory, and the Trans Feminine Allegory, (Northwestern UP 2017) traces the medicalization of trans femininity and the uptake of the resulting diagnostic in works of literature and theory. Dr. Heaney’s forthcoming edited collection, Feminism Against Cisness (Duke UP 2024), gathers essays by trans studies scholars that demonstrate the potential of feminist critique freed of the ideology that assigned sex determines sexed experience.

Currently, her research derives from a theory of the transformation of queer and trans identities from works of literature spanning the long twentieth century. Prior to teaching at NYU, Dr. Heaney was an assistant professor of English at William Patterson University and has held fellowships at MacDowell and the Marble House Project.

Dr. Heaney’s lecture is part of Villanova’s annual, day-long Gender and Women’s Studies Student Research Conference. The conference will again highlight and celebrate research examining gender and sexuality produced by students from Villanova and other institutions in the area over the previous year.

The conference, which takes place in the Connolly Center, is free and open to the public, and the schedule is as follows:

8:45 a.m.: Registration Opens

9:00 a.m.: Welcome and Coffee

9:30-11:45 a.m.: Panels

12:00-1:30 p.m.: Complimentary Keynote luncheon (pre-register here)

1:45-2:45 p.m.: Panels

3:00 p.m.: Performance Showcase

4:00 pm: Cookies and Closing Remarks

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.