25The Epistemological Significance of Transgender Studies in the Academy
Wayne Martino, Diana Kuhl, and Kenan Omercajic
In this chapter, we reflect on the epistemological significance of transgender studies in the academy as an emerging and growing field of interdisciplinary scholarship that is committed to what Stryker (2006, p. 12) has termed a politics of (de)subjugated knowledges. It is a space of legitimacy for the study of transgender phenomena with respect to a consideration of engaging the epistemological and ontological grounds for centering the experiences, concerns, and perspectives of trans and non‐binary people, given their specific embodied standpoints. As Stryker points out:
Transgender studies considers the embodied experience of the speaking subject, who claims constative knowledge of the referent topic, to be a proper – indeed essential – component of the analysis of transgender phenomena; experiential knowledge is as legitimate as other, supposedly more “objective” forms of knowledge, and is in fact necessary for understanding the political dynamics of the situation being analyzed. This is not the same as claiming that subjective knowledge of “being transgender” is somehow more valuable than knowledge of transgender phenomena gained from a position of exteriority, but it is an assertion that no voice in the dialog should have the privilege of masking the particularities and specificities of its own speaking position, through which it may claim a false universality ...
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