Transitions: Medical Tourism & Theorizing Transnational Studies of Sexuality

This course is situated at the intersection of theoretical, cultural, and medical, and commercial online discourses concerning the burgeoning Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) medical surgeries presented on the world wide web and practiced in Thailand. Using “Trans” theories: transgender, transnational, translation, spatio/temporal, we will discuss the intersections, dialogues, refusals and adoptions when thinking about medical tourism to Thailand. We will examine Thai cultural/historical conceptions of sex and genders, debates concerning bodies and diagnosis that took place during the drafting of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), International SRS Standards of Care (drafted in BKK during the WPATH meeting in February 2014), and changes in presentations of sex/gender related surgeries offered online. Comparative cultural studies, medical discourses, and an archive of web images offering SRS surgeries to Thailand produced by Thais for western clientele will serve as axes for investigating this topic. We will explore how gender/sex regimes are not universally understood.