Char Harrison

M.A. Student
Graduate Student

Char is an MA student in the Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies department. They hold a combined Bachelor of Journalism and French degree from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Their research interests center around epistemic injustice in court cases involving trans litigants, especially workplace discrimination cases. They wish to investigate questions about which sorts of trans narratives the court finds legitimate, and how this shapes the legal protections available to trans workers. This research follows similar investigations into how the medical transition services available to trans people often depend on how well the trans person seeking care meets cisgender expectations of trans embodiment. In other words, it is cisgender persons in positions of authority in both the medical and legal spheres who are deciding how much legitimacy to confer onto trans persons. This legitimacy is often conferred on the basis of how much the trans person’s life resembles a cisgender stereotype of what a trans life should look like, supplanting true narratives of trans experience. Char plans to collect quantitative data from court transcripts of workplace discrimination cases involving trans people in the United State and draw conclusions based on language use by judges and lawyers, grounding these in Miranda Fricker’s work on epistemic injustice, particularly the concept of testimonial injustice.