Film Studies M.A Alumnx Joshua M. Ferguson publishes a wonderfully-written article entitled We Are Non-Binary Trans People And Yes, We Exist for Huffingtonpost Living.
“Without my academic work, I would not be my self and without academia I would not know my self.”
Dr. Joshua M. Ferguson is a non-binary transgender (they/them/their) filmmaker, writer, activist and artist born in Brantford, Canada and raised in the small town of Napanee, Canada. Joshua received their Ph.D. at the University of British Columbia and is a recipient of two Canada Graduate Scholarships from SSHRC. Joshua’s research focuses on highlighting non-binary trans subjectivity by studying the related representations of binary and non-binary trans people in popular culture, social discourse and autoethnography. They are developing their Ph.D. dissertation entitled “Non-Binary Trans Subjects: Exiting the Attachment to the Transgender Metanarrative of Man/Woman” into a book.
They have made two short films to date: Limina (2016) and Whispers of Life (2013) with producing and directing partner Florian Halbedl. Joshua aims to discover innovative, unique and marginalized stories that seek to represent the rich diversity of humanity. Joshua believes that “Film can act as a beacon of hope for those struggling with being marginalized while simultaneously deploying new ways to expand awareness in a changing global landscape that typically participates in exclusionary and reductive forms of cinematic representation.” Joshua is currently working with Florian to develop a feature-length dramatic fiction film and a feature-length documentary.
Joshua’s time at UBC:
“During my graduate work at UBC, in both the M.A. (Department of Theatre and Film) and Ph.D. (Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice) programs, I realized that my research area was beginning to parallel my process of exploring my non-binary trans subjectivity. I knew that pursuing a Ph.D. would provide me with the necessary time and the tools to think out my complex trans identity and to finally be free within and without my own skin. I reflect on these early times, particularly in the first year of my program, and I now realize that academia can be a process of multifaceted learning.
Without my academic work, I would not be my self and without academia I would not know my self.
My education has, in part, allowed me to realize who I am as a non-binary trans person, but it also opens a space of critical thinking that complicates and sets me off on a path of never-ending learning about my research interests in relation to my identity. I am my most important research interest and I think that this type of feminist positionality or what can be best understood as a empathic feminist fusing of the self as a text in uniting force with the texts that compose our areas of research enable a disruptive force against grand narratives that constrain diversity. My research at UBC enriched who I am, the art that I create as a filmmaker and the words that I continue to write in the activist interventions that I make both on the page and on-the-screen.”