Kristen Schilt is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Chicago. A central focus of her work is finding new ways to make visible the taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about gender and sexuality that serve to naturalize and reproduce social inequality.
As a Radcliffe fellow, Schilt is completing the research and writing of “Theorizing Agnes,” an experimental book project (coauthored with the multimedia artist Chase Joynt) that draws on hybrid methods of critical inquiry to examine the legacy of transgender representation in the social sciences. Drawing on her newly discovered archival documentation of the first transgender case study in sociology (1958), Schilt seeks to interrogate the ways in which transgender people stand at the center of ever-shifting disciplinary conventions for theorizing questions of gender, culture, and biology.
Schilt received her PhD in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago. She received a 2013–2014 Andrew Mellon Collaborative Fellowship for Arts Practice and Scholarship from the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry.