Transparent Symposium Program

Download the program here

All events will take place in Rush Rhees Library at the University of Rochester, except for the screening on Thursday, which will take place at the Little Theatre. Events are free and open to the public. Please be in touch with with questions about accessibility of these events. Transparent: A Multi-Disciplinary Symposium is cosponsored by: American Studies, Film & Media Studies, English, Jewish Studies, Modern Languages & Cultures, Religion & Classics, and the Humanities Project, a program of the Humanities Center.

Wednesday, November 30th

6:30 pm Eileen Myles Reading

With renowned poet, novelist, performer, and art journalist, followed by book signing and reception.

Thursday, December 1st

9:15 am Opening Remarks

Nora Rubel, Associate Professor of Religion and Classics & Director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, University of Rochester

9:30 am - 11:30 am  Genealogies and Histories

Chair: Jennifer Creech, Associate Professor of German, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Rochester

      • Lauren Herold (Northwestern University), “What is the Female Gaze?: A Historical and Critical Look at Feminist Film Theory and Jill Soloway's Transparent
      • Oliver Leaman (University of Kentucky), “Eileen Myles, Community and the Modern Jewish Family
      • Joshua Falek (McGill University), “Cracking the Mauratorium: How Transparent’s Queer Temporality Exposes Jewish Intergenerational Trauma”

Respondent: Joshua Dubler, Assistant Professor of Religion, Department of Religion and Classics, University of Rochester

1:30 pm - 3:15 pm  Jewish or Jew-ish?

Chair: Nora Rubel, Associate Professor of Religion and Classics & Director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies, University of Rochester

      • Max Bledstein (University of Winnipeg), “Eating Identity: Gender, Religion, and Food in Transparent
      • Jodi Eichler-Levine (Lehigh University), “Dancing Out the Torah: Bodies, Ritual and Transitions in Transparent
      • Sara Feldman (University of Illinois), “Transparent’s Failed White Lesbian Wedding and the New Jewish-Protestant Relations”
      • Ranen Omer-Sherman (University of Louisville), “Levinasian Nomadism and the Unmoored Characters of Transparent

Respondent: Lesleigh Cushing, Murray W. and Mildred K. Finard Associate Professor in Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of Religion & Director Jewish Studies Program, Colgate University

4:00 pm - 5:45 pm  Space, Movement, and the American West

Chair: Joan Saab, Associate Professor of Art History & Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, University of Rochester

      • Shari Rabin (College of Charleston), "Women Rabbis in Gilded Ages: From Rachel Frank to Rabbi Raquel"
      • Samira Mehta (Albright College), “The Water that Transforms: Swimming Pool as Secular, California Mikveh in Jill Soloway's Transparent
      • Erin Kasimow (University of Southern California), “Lost and Found in La La Land”

Respondent: Ezra Tawil, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, University of Rochester

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Transparent Screening and Q&A at The Little Theatre with

with Zackary Drucker (Producer, Transparent)

Rabbi Susan Goldberg (Consultant, Transparent)

Alexandra Grey (Actor, Transparent)

Tickets are free and offered on a first-come, first-served basis on the night of the screening and discussion which will be held in Theater 1 at The Little Theatre, 240 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14604 If you have questions or concerns about this, please be in touch with

Friday, December 2nd

9:30 am - 11:30 am  Gendering the Holocaust

Chair: Jason Middleton, Associate Professor of English, Department of English & Director of the Program in Film and Media Studies, University of Rochester

      • Diane Klein (University of La Verne College of Law) and Bashir Naim (Actor, Transparent), “Troubling the Natal Family”
      • Kerstin Steitz (Old Dominion University), “Jewishness, the Holocaust, and Transgender in Transparent
      • David Slucki (College of Charleston), “Whose Holocaust? Gender, Jewishness and Transparent

Respondent: Jason Peck, Visiting Assistant Professor of German, Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Rochester

1:30 pm - 3:15 pm   Interrogating the Revolutionary

Chair: Joel Burges, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, University of Rochester

      • Ceridwen Troy, "The Cis Gaze, or Why I Do Not Watch Transparent"
      • Thomas McCarthy (SUNY Geneseo), “Class Act: Transparent and Economic Privilege”
      • Kate Royal (Northwestern University), “Television as a Safe Space: Content and Community in Transparent

Respondent: Alice Rutkowski (SUNY Geneseo)

4:00 pm - 5:45 pm    Shifting Selves and Shifting Boundaries

Chair: Rachel Haidu, Associate Professor of Art History, Department of Art and Art History & Chair of the Program in Visual and Cultural Studies

      • Elliot Ratzman (Swarthmore College), “Transparent without Transcendence: The Undisciplined Secular Subject, Moral Failure and the Ethics of the Self in the Family Pfefferman”
      • Nicole Erin Morse (University of Chicago), “The Look Back: Subverting the Medicalization and Objectification of the Trans Body in Transparent"
      • Lisa Grunberger (Temple University), “Transparent's Pfeffermans: Bearing the Cross of the Ivri”  

6:00 pm - 7:00 pmClosing reception