Sci-fi is all about transcending 'the gender binary,' according to a University of Florida library display
UF recently hosted a library display titled 'Transcend: Beyond the Gender Binary,' showcasing books demonstrating the intersection between science fiction and gender theory.
According to the exhibit, science fiction is 'founded on the critique of societal power.'
The University of Florida (UF) recently hosted a library display titled “Transcend: Beyond the Gender Binary,” showcasing books demonstrating the intersection between science fiction and gender theory.
Campus Reform obtained photos of the various exhibits.
The sign for the curated book display asserted that “feminist, Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), and queer science fiction” can help “audiences navigate through questions such as: What exactly is gender?” and “How does science fiction reconstruct and reframe how we understand identity?”
According to the sign, science fiction is “founded on the critique of societal power.”
One table in the UF library exhibit was dedicated to how trans issues relate to science fiction. “Transcoding,” a placard explains, “refers to giving characters traits or behaviors that suggest they are transgender, without openly suggesting they are.”
The placard goes on to suggest that “[s]ome stories are intentionally coded as queer by their creators,” but that “[o]ther times, viewers find find new interpretations through the lens of their own identities.”
An anonymous UF student interviewed by Campus Reform reacted negatively to the queer sci-fi exhibit.
“I mean look at the book titles. You see interpretations of The Matrix and Star Trek. Those are all popular titles. These interpretations, to me, seem like they are trying to claim these as their own and force a way of thinking down my throat,” the student stated.
Another exhibit table featured “Two-Spirit Experiences,” which refers to Native American people who exhibit both masculine and feminine characteristics.
The “Two-Spirit” exhibit claims to challenge “western gender ideals” through the works it presents. It features the works of Kent Monkman, who, in the exhibit’s description, “challenges the gender binary, colonization, and the white gaze through his art.”
The anonymous student continued, “I also don’t like how they just had to throw in anti-white rhetoric in there. It just proves the point about shoving ideas down my throat further.”
Campus Reform reached out to UF and UF libraries for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.