World’s only Chair in Transgender Studies announced today at UVic

The University of Victoria today announced the establishment of the Chair in Transgender Studies—the first of its kind—to tackle essential issues that matter and to inspire research and discussion to help make a difference in the lives of some of our most vulnerable people in society. A donation of $1 million USD by the Tawani Foundation, founded and led by Lieutenant Colonel Jennifer N. Pritzker, US Army (Retired), will install the inaugural chair in UVic’s Faculty of Social Sciences for five years.
As the inaugural Chair in Transgender Studies, Dr. Aaron Devor will work with some of the world’s top researchers and scholars, thought leaders, transgender community activists and students to further research into a broad range of topics concerned with the lives of trans and gender nonconforming people and to explore crucial issues such as healthcare, poverty, discrimination and suicide.
“The Chair in Transgender Studies sets UVic apart as a place that offers the highest quality research and is also home to exceptional students, faculty and staff who inspire bold action for positive impact on the lives of others," says President Jamie Cassels. "I am proud of our campus community’s commitment to diversity, as well as grateful to Dr. Devor, Lt.-Col. Pritzker, the Tawani Foundation and all those who help us continually learn and grow in a welcoming environment that promotes the rights and affirms the dignity of all persons.”
“Far too many trans and gender nonconforming people still live in poverty and fear,” says Devor. “As the inaugural chair, I will act as a resource locally and internationally for those needing information for their own research or for policy development, as well as building linkages between community-based and academic scholars working in transgender studies,” adds Devor, who is also the founder and academic director of the Transgender Archives at UVic, unveiled in June 2012.
The Tawani Foundation has committed a generous donation of $1 million USD to UVic for the purpose of supporting the world’s first Chair in Transgender Studies. In addition, the foundation has also pledged up to another $1 million USD to match contributions from other donors toward the Chair in Transgender Studies at UVic.
The Transgender Archives at UVic represents 17 countries on five continents, more than a century of research and over 50 years of activism. If the materials were lined up along one long shelf, the collection would stretch the length of a football field.
Devor is an elected member of the elite International Academy of Sex Research, an elected Fellow of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and a national award-winning teacher. He is a professor in UVic’s Department of Sociology and a former dean of UVic’s Faculty of Graduate Studies.

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