This course investigates transnational understandings of gender variance and transgender bodies. How do understandings of the relationship between gender and sexuality change across the globe? How have terms like “transgender” been taken up outside the United States? This course examines the tools we need to understand the lives of Indian hijras, Brazilian travestis, Native American Two Spirit, Thai kathoey or ladyboys, Indonesian tombois and trans people in the United States. We ask if terms like “transgender” and “transsexual” are useful to describe non-Western embodiments. We learn about contemporary gender variant social formations in South America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, indigenous gender diverse communities in North America and the Pacific Islands, and diasporic gender variant communities in North America and Western Europe. We will frame our discussions of transgender social formations within historical, political, and economic contexts, and how transnational flows of global capital impact transgender and gender variant identities.