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The University of Hong Kong
Engaging Future Parents: Activist Biocitizenship Practices and Intersex Transgression

This study aims to explore a more fully theorised concept of biocitizenship as part of the teaching of intersex in critical approaches to sex education. In this more fully theorised version, the options for students, as future parents, are not limited to compliance with biomedicine; rather, formal education experiences might prepare them to be neighbours and parents who, as allies of intersex family/community members, can engage in political activism to effect change where deemed necessary. Drawn from a research project based in an Aotearoa/New Zealand secondary school, the data is classroom talk. Transcripts of audio-recorded classroom interactions will be analysed using a version of critical discourse analysis that expands the attention paid to semiotic modes such as visual cues of bodies as well as affect. The findings reveal that biocitizenship can also include those who accept intersex bodies, altering established practices to accommodate those bodies and the people who live them.


Dr. Brian W. King is a critical sociolinguist who researches the discursive performance of identities and embodiments at the intersection of ethnicity, gender and sexuality. His work on these themes sits within sexuality education, healthcare communication, computer-mediated communication, and the social construction of space/place. Methodologically he draws on a number of traditions, including interactional sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, linguistic anthropology, and critical discourse studies. Brian leads the Communicating Sex Variation Research Cluster (CSV) in the Research and Impact Initiative on Communication in Healthcare (RIICH) an interdisciplinary, international collaboration housed in HKU's Faculty of Arts. He is a member of the board of trustees of Intersex Trust Aotearoa New Zealand (ITANZ), which strives to advocate dignity, diversity and choice for people born with intersex traits.

Zoom Details

Zoom link: https://hku.zoom.us/j/97849120228?pwd=YlFJTTBFSDVzVU5VSkNGaU0yV3lCUT09

Meeting ID: 978 4912 0228
Password: 109158

Live broadcast will be available in Room CRT-7.45, 7/F, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU.