Associate Professor James Martin Lectures in Germany
Associate Professor James Martin travelled to Germany in October, where he gave a series of lectures on sexual and gender identities. In a two-part lecture at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden, Martin examined "The Changing Constructions of Sexual and Gender Identities: Implications for Practice with Queer Populations." Martin illuminated the formation of identities based on sexual orientation and gender. By tracing the changes that sexual and gender identities have gone through during the past 150 years in Germany and the United States, he explained how the origin and evolution of such identities is shaped by historical, cultural, and political conditions. Martin concluded the talk with a discussion of the practical consequences this has for social work with queer populations.
Martin then travelled to Berlin where he gave a lecture at the Schwules (Gay) Museum entitled, "Timed Lives: The Importance of Historical and Biographical Time in Social Science Research on Queer Populations." Sexual and gender identities and the developmental trajectories of queer people, he explained, have changed over time; they continue to change because they are shaped by the socio-historical context. There is also evidence that people's sexual and gender identities may fluctuate throughout the lifespan. Martin's presentation examined how both the historical time in which research participants live and the biographical time in their lives are especially important considerations in the conduct and understanding of social science research on queer populations.