BA Candidate - Constructions of Human Discardability
Owen (pronouns: he/they) arrived at NYU through Gallatin's GUIDE Scholarship Program, which connects social justice-oriented community college students to Gallatin for interdisciplinary study. Originally from Massachusetts, Owen is a queer transgender scholar who has resided in Queens for many years. Having previously studied aging and older adults, Owen found themself grappling with how this population is viewed in social welfare and health spaces. Once at Gallatin, Owen began immersion in different lenses and practices—queer studies, trans critique, intersectional feminism, and harm reduction models—resulting in a telescoping out of their concentration ideas. Pairing Gallatin seminars with work in the schools of Social & Cultural Analysis, Global Public Health, and Social Work, Owen is exploring themes of identity, wellness, colonialism, and representation among many. Looking forward, Owen seeks to apply the theories of the burgeoning Discard Studies field to their communities of interest, asking: “How are humans constructed as ‘disposable’ or ‘discardable?’ What discursive and other practices constitute that condition of ‘discardability?’” How can measures of clarity here be harnessed for resistance and liberation?” Owen is currently conducting archival research on trans and gender nonconforming communities, with the hopes of designing future projects and producing writing for publication.