The Museum of Trans Hirstory and Art (MOTHA), the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and Stanford Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies present an evening of performance, discussion, music, and readings to celebrate the release of the book Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects. Surveying over three centuries, the book brings together over 100 contributors to create a capacious selection of artworks, archival documents, publications, and artifacts about trans life. It is a continuation of MOTHA, a larger artistic project by artist Chris E. Vargas and a museum forever “under construction” that exists without a building or a board of directors but takes on selective functions of an institution. We are thrilled to gather a set of amazing talents, including several of the book’s contributors, to bring the spirit of this project to the stage.
The program will begin with a panel discussion with C. Riley Snorton, Cyle Metzger, and Gabby Omoni Hartemann, moderated by Susan Stryker. Intermission will be followed by a Director’s Welcome by Chris E. Vargas, readings and performance, including by Beth Elliott, David Evans Frantz, Geo Wyex, Leila Weefur, Maria Silk, Maxe Crandall, Zz Chic and The Indigo Menace of the Stanford Drag Troupe, and a screening by Kiyan Williams. Mo B. Dick will emcee. Books will be available for signing on the evening of the program. Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University is committed to ensuring our programs are accessible to everyone. To request access information and/or accommodations for this event, please complete this form at least one week prior to the event: museum.stanford.edu/access.
For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Kwang-Mi Ro, email@example.com, (650) 723-3469.
Panel discussion with C. Riley Snorton, Cyle Metzger, and Gabby Omoni Hartemann, moderated by Susan Stryker
Food Truck stationed nearby
Coupa Cafe - GSB open nearby
Introductions and “Director’s Welcome”
performance by Chris E. Vargas
Music by Beth Elliott
Screening of Reflections/Refractions in BlaQ by Kiyan Williams
Reading of “A Corridor of Becoming” by Leila Weefur
Performance of excerpt from “Mud in Love” by Maxe Crandall, performed by Maria Silk
Reading by Allucquére Rosanne (Sandy) Stone (not in attendance)
Reading of “Ariana Aguilar In The Gay Essay And Homeboy Beautiful, 1970/1978–79” by David Evans Frantz
Performance of Visitation, w/ NO Stars by Geo Wyex
Performances by Stanford Drag Troupe’s The Indigo Menace and Zz Chic
Zz Chic (they/she) is a South Asian drag sensation. Ranging from alt to glam with pit stops at spook or clown in between, Zz will bring you highly emotive performances and cheeky host spots. Outside of drag, Zz likes to dissect the queer experience and to confuse the average Joe with their non-binary finery.
Maxe Crandall is a poet, playwright, and director. His performance novel about AIDS archives and intergenerational memory The Nancy Reagan Collection made the New York Public Library’s Best 10 Poetry Books of 2020. Crandall is Associate Director of the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Stanford University.
A distinguished art historian and an authority in the field of European tapestries, Campbell was educated at Oxford and the Courtauld Institute before joining the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1995, where he conceived and organized several acclaimed exhibitions and publications as curator. Following his appointment as director, Campbell led a revitalization and modernization program embodied in award-winning exhibitions and publications, major capital projects, investment in technology and digital initiatives, and historic donations of works of art. He elevated the Met’s national and international profile through conservation exchanges in the Middle East and India; ambitious loan exhibitions in China, Japan, and Latin America; the launching of a biannual global museum directors’ colloquium; and a new international donor council. During his tenure, attendance grew from 4.5 to 7 million visitors per year.
Mo B. Dick
Mo B. Dick—MC, performer, producer, and historian—is a Drag King Legend. Cited as one of the founding fathers of the modern-day Drag King movement, Mr. Dick has been the subject of books, documentaries, articles, periodicals, podcasts, and more on Drag Kings, proving he is a force to reckon with.
Beth Elliott is a San Francisco Bay Area-based transsexual lesbian folk singer, activist, and writer. From 1971 to 1972, Elliott served as vice president of the San Francisco chapter of the lesbian organization the Daughters of Bilitis. She was also one of the organizers of the 1973 West Coast Lesbian Conference in Los Angeles and was invited by her co-organizers to perform there. She performed despite controversy stirred up onsite by lesbian separatists over her presence because she was trans. She applied to Stanford’s experimental sex reassignment surgery program in 1972, was approved in 1974, and sued her insurance company to get it covered.
David Evans Frantz
David Evans Frantz is a curator based in Los Angeles, and co-editor of Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects. He began his curatorial career at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries, where he first worked with Chris E. Vargas and MOTHA. He also co-edited the catalog for Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. He curated the accompanying exhibition as well as the exhibition Teddy Sandoval And The Butch Gardens School Of Art, currently on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum, with C. Ondine Chavoya.
Gabby Omoni Hartemann
Gabby Omoni Hartemann (they/them) is Afro Guianese, Omo Òrì à in the Ilê Axé Iyaba Omi community (Brazil), and a PhD candidate in Anthropology and Archaeology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Their research is rooted in anti-colonial and Afro-centered re-understandings of archaeology in order to tell the stories of silenced existences.
Christina Linden is the Director of Academic and Public Programs at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, and co-editor of Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects. She met Chris E. Vargas through friends. She met David Evans Frantz while conducting research for the exhibition Queer California: Untold Stories, which she curated at the Oakland Museum of California, and in which MOTHA had an installation.
The Indigo Menace
The Indigo Menace (they/she/he) is a gender-bending drag queen. They are best known for her tiny mustaches, tiny jockstraps, and ginormous, graphic makeup looks. Outside of drag, Indigo likes to cook breakfast foods and blast Lady Gaga while skating around campus.
Cyle Metzger is an Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art at Bradley University. His current manuscript, Deep Cuts: Transgender History in American Art after World War II, engages histories of gender transformation in American art since the end of the Second World War.
C. Riley Snorton
C. Riley Snorton is a scholar and author of Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity (2017) and Nobody is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low (2014).
Allucquére Rosanne (Sandy) Stone
Allucquére Rosanne (Sandy) Stone is Professor Emerita and founder of the ACTLab at the University of Texas at Austin, Senior Artist at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and a Fellow of the University of California Humanities Research Institute. She has been a filmmaker, rock ‘n roll music engineer, neurologist, social scientist, science fiction author, cultural theorist, and performer.
Susan Stryker is Professor Emerita of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona. She is founding executive co-editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, co-editor of the Duke University Press book series ASTERISK: gender, trans-, and all that comes after, author of Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (2008, 2017), co-editor of the multi-volume Transgender Studies readers, and co-director of the Emmy-winning documentary film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005). A collection of her essays, When Monsters Speak, edited by McKenzie Wark, is forthcoming from Duke in 2024. Dr. Stryker is currently working to complete a book manuscript, Changing Gender, under contract to Farrar Straus Giroux.
Chris E. Vargas
Chris E. Vargas is a video maker & interdisciplinary artist, an artist, the founder of the Museum of Trans Hirstory and Art, and co-editor of Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects. His work deploys humor and performance to explore the complex ways that queer and trans people negotiate spaces for themselves within historical and institutional memory and popular culture. He is a recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital award and a 2020 John S. Guggenheim fellowship.
Leila Weefur (he/they/she) is an artist, writer, and curator. Their interdisciplinary practice examines the performative elements connected to systems of belonging present in Black, queer, gender-variant life. This work brings together concepts of sensorial memory, abject Blackness, hypersurveillance, and the erotic. They are a lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.
Kiyan Williams is a visual artist based in New York City. They are attracted to quotidian materials and methods that subvert dominant narratives of history and American identity.
Geo Wyex is an artist and educator originally from NYC currently based in Rotterdam, NL who works in music, performance, poetry and sound. His most recent record, ATM FM (2020), was released through Muck Studies Dept. – a constellational narrative framework and imaginary city agent that surveys the bottom of low-lying water areas, “looking for stars out of what stinks.” Muck Studies Dept. is a project inspired by aesthetics and methodologies of black Atlantic poetics, investigative journalism and storytelling theater, the project connects mud, water, gas, ass, rocks, coins, keys, extractive industry, and sensual expression of belonging to that flood. Wyex has presented work at MoMA PS1, New Museum, Stedelijk Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Dutch National Opera, L’Arsenic, Joe’s Pub etc. He was a resident at the Rijksakademie in 2015-2016.