Guest Lecture by Dr. France Rose Hartline: "The (Trans)Gender Equality Paradox in Norway"
As part of Gender Awareness Week (#GAW2020) the Center for Women's and Gender Research and HIF-2160 invite the University and extended community to a guest lecture by Dr. France Rose Hartline from NTNU on trans rights issues in Norway.
In July 2016, a gender self-determination law was passed in Norway which allows one to change legal gender (male/female) without the previously required sterilisation. Though this move by the Norwegian state has been widely celebrated by trans rights advocates for its progressive approach to gender recognition, the law’s limitation to the male/female binary and the lack of concurrent improvement in medical access raise concerns about how far-reaching and transformative it actually is. Given the diversity of trans experiences and identities, I have sought to address the following question: In what ways is the law on gender recognition capable of empowering the trans people who change legal gender, and in what ways can it prove limiting or detrimental? To explore this, I conducted interviews with individuals who changed legal gender following the law’s implementation to capture the diverse array of experiences. My goal was to investigate why legal recognition of one’s chosen gender can prove both empowering and disempowering, with special regard for the Norwegian context. In doing so, I explored the limitations of state recognition in trans materialisation by considering how socio-legal interpretations of gender, sex, identity and power can contradict the messy, tangled queerness of trans experiences.
france rose hartline is an American enjoying life in Norway. He has been involved in trans and queer activism, art and academia since 2002, having done a BA in Art in the US, an MPhil in Sociology at University of Cape Town, and a MFA in Fine Art at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway. In January 2020, france completed his PhD in Gender Studies at NTNU in Trondheim, after defending his thesis 'The (trans)gender equality paradox: Challenging Norway's 2016 law on gender recognition'. He currently lives in southern Norway with his partner and two dogs.