Alice Paul Center Research Scholar
Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
411 Cohen Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (215) 898-8740
Fax: (215) 898-1803
Ben Singer recently completed his Ph.D. at Rutgers University with a dissertation titled “Towards a Transgender Sublime: The Politics of Excess in Trans-specific Cultural Production.” This project develops the concept of a “transgender sublime” to account for how transgender operates not only as a stable category of personhood, but also as a proliferative matrix—producing representations of rapidly shifting embodiments and subjectivities that overwhelm cognition and exceed sex/gender categorization. As an interdisciplinary study, it analyzes encounters with a trans-specific aesthetic across medical and public health discourses, new media and visual culture, and autobiographical literature. Ben’s work draws broadly upon his training in textual analysis combined with media and cultural theory, ethnography, and sexuality and gender studies—with an emphasis on transgender activisms and theories.
During his dissertation studies Ben pursued a parallel career as a public health consultant, conducting trainings on LGBT health equity. He has consulted on local, state and national projects with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office, and other health and human service organizations. Ben has also designed and implemented programs such as co-founding and directing the Trans-health Information Project (TIP), a program of Prevention Point Philadelphia needle exchange and the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, with funding by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He recently completed a three-year National Institute of Health training program on Behavioral Science Training in Drug Abuse Research at the National Development Research Institute in New York City.
Ben has taught on issues of gender and sexuality at various institutions; this includes conducting the first trans studies seminar “Transgender Queries in Medicine, Law, Politics and Culture” at Barnard College. He is currently a Research Scholar in the Alice Paul Center at the University of Pennsylvania.