The University of Victoria is poised to be global leader in transgender studies.
Designed “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 US $1 million by the Tawani Foundation 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 Jamie Cassels, UVic president.
The Tawani Foundation also pledged up to another US $1 million to match contributions from other donors.
“Far too many trans and gender nonconforming people still live in poverty and fear,” says Devor, who is also the founder and academic director of the Transgender Archives at UVic, which was unveiled in June 2012.
“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.”
The Transgender Archives at UVic represents 17 countries on five continents, more than a century of research and more than 50 years of activism.
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.