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Stalled! Symposium

February 8, 2018 at 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Stalled! Symposium

Free and open to the public. 

Taubman College partners with the U-M Initiative on Disability Studies (UMInDS), the U-M Spectrum Center, and the U-M Women’s Studies department on a symposium that examines the impact of  disability, gender-fluidity, and intersectionality on architecture and design. Whenever disabled-queer-trans bodies move in on social space, they disrupt the regimes of fitness presiding over urban and institutional infrastructure. Disabled-queer-trans, or alterite bodies, challenge normative preconceptions held by equally normate bodies. Developed by architect and activist Professor Joel Sanders in collaboration with Taubman College, Stalled! seeks several specific objectives: the design of more inclusive public spaces, enrolling supportive partners and allies from across the University, and educating various publics regarding the needs of social groups currently denied access to inclusive restrooms. This symposium provides a critical platform to collect key thought leaders to expand the discourse on the myriad implications of this topic, and invites broad participation from the University of Michigan network of activists, facility personnel, students, academic staff, administrators, and faculty.

Wednesday, February 7

6:00 Keynote: Joel Sanders, Yale School of Architecture, “From Stalled to Stud: Architecture in Transition”
Sanders’ work addresses identity, inclusivity, and social issues in architecture. His current research focuses on gender-neutral bathrooms, a highly debated and relevant topic. A collaboration with colleague Susan Stryker, Stalled! aims to create a relatively barrier-free, open precinct that encourages all embodied subjects to freely and safely engage with one another in public space.

Thursday, February 8

9:00am Panel: Trans and Queer Theory
Guest Speaker: Mel Chen, UC Berkeley, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies; Director, Center for the Study of Sexual Culture

11:00am Panel: Inclusive Space, Design, and Infrastructure
Guest Speaker: Dr. Jos Boys, Co-director of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project


Natasha Abner, U-M LSA Linguistics
Robert Adams, U-M Taubman College
Jos Boys, DisOrdinary Architecture Project
William Calvo-Quirós, U-M American Culture and Latina/o Studies
Mel Chen, UC Berkeley / Center for the Study of Sexual Culture
Mark Chung Kwan Fan, U-M Spectrum Center
Jacquline Jeffery, U-M Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
Petra Kuppers, U-M Women’s Studies
Megan Lane, U-M Medical School
Scott Larson, U-M American Culture
Stephanie Rosen, U-M Library
Lisa Sauvé, Synecdoche Design
Will Sherry,  U-M Spectrum Center
Adam Smith, Synecdoche Design
Will Thomson, U-M Taubman College / U-M LSA Anthropology

2:00pm Workshop: Critical Conversations in Space, with Tea
Building on the efforts of Joel Sanders and the Stalled! cross-disciplinary research team, the afternoon workshop explores the project as it addresses the university campus and other institutional models. If bathrooms and public restrooms explicitly render the terms of gender inclusion, or more often by reinforcing a gender-binary, could we actively locate other spaces within the university to expand the conversation of gender equity? Can we conceive of design agendas that promote gender-affirming spaces? How can we locate the rhetoric around diversity, equity, and inclusion within spaces of teaching and learning, organizational networks, building facilities, and campus infrastructure? The fluidity of intersectional transgender-crip-queer bodies are powerful forms of embodiment, but also are precarious bodies under siege. What responsibilities do we possess as an institution to increase capacity in this space by moving away from the mechanics of complicity, and toward an understanding of interdependency?

Contribute to the Conversation
In preparation for Critical Conversations In Space, with Tea, we ask that you document, find, photograph, and comment on spaces within your sphere, office, school, dorm, studio, lab, and
other sites that you feel should be included in furthering the conversation. We invite you to post your thoughts, musings, burning questions, observations, photos, videos, and comments via Instagram to #StalledAtMichigan

Please tag your posts with one of these general categories:

This will help us focus the conversation around specific institutional domains shared between students, staff, administrators, and faculty; as well as, identify a network of allies in this space that currently may reside outside.


February 8, 2018
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
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