Talia Mae Bettcher, Professor and Chair

Picture of Talia
College of Arts and Letters
Department of Philosophy
Office Location: ET 432
Phone: 3-4179 Email: [email protected]

Research Interests

Feminist Philosophy, Transgender Studies, Queer Theory, Early Modern Philosophy, Philosophy of Self  


(Fall 2017): PHIL/WGSS 4130 Introduction to Trans Feminism, PHIL 4960 Senior Seminar 

Office Hours

Mons-Thursday 11:00-12:00 


I am an engaged philosopher who integrates critical reflection with tangible and meaningful action in our lived world. Much of my work in transgender studies flows from my personal experience as a trans woman and through being actively involved in in trans community subcultures and grass-roots organizing in Los Angeles for the past fifteen years. My philosophical investigations, even at their most abstract, aim to capture realities that are experienced by flesh and blood people and that can have political and practical consequences (see, for example "Recommended Models and Policies for LAPD Interactions with Trans Individuals". Much of this policy was eventually adopted. Click here for more info). When traditional philosophy has failed me, I have even turned to performance art as a way to explore philosophical trans/gender issues in less conventional ways.  My hope is that others can gain real benefit from my philosophical work – if only as a challenge to think more deeply about gender and sex, and perhaps even as a new way of thinking about things.

I work as a Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Los Angeles. I currently serve as Chair of the department. And I previously directed the Center for the Study of Genders and Sexualities (2008-11). Some of the courses that I teach include Introduction to Transgender Studies, Introduction to Trans/Feminism, Philosophy, Gender, and Culture, Philosophy of Self, Early Modern Philosophy, The Philosophy of George Berkeley, and The Meaning of Life.

I am member of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy's editorial board, and a member of the founding editorial board of Transgender Studies Quarterlythe first-ever non-medical journal focusing on transgender issues. I have also served as a judge for the Lambda Literary Awards (2013).

I am currently writing a monograph entitled Reality Mare: Reflections on Transphobia, Trans Feminism, and the Structures of Personhood.





Courses (On-line)
















Publications (SelectedFor access to some my writings, see: https://calstatela.academia.edu/TaliaBettcher Also visit www.learningtrans.org

Books and Edited Collections

  • Transgender Studies and Feminism: Theory, Politics, and Gender Realities, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 24:3 (2009). Special issue co-edited with Ann Garry.
  • Berkeley: A Guide for the Perplexed, Continuum Press, 2009.
  • Berkeley’s Philosophy of Spirit: Consciousness, Ontology and the Elusive Subject, Continuum Press, 2007.

Articles, Chapters, and Entries

  • “Intersexuality, Transsexuality, Transgender,” in Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory, eds. Mary Hawkesworth and Lisa Jane Disch, Oxford University Press, 2015 (forthcoming)
  • “Trapped in the Wrong Theory: Re-Thinking Trans Oppression and Resistance,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 39:2 (Winter 2014).
  • “When Selves Have Sex: What the Phenomenology of Trans Sexuality Can Teach Us About Sexual Orientation,” Journal of Homosexuality 61:5 (2014), 605-620.
  • “Transphobia,” Transgender Studies Quarterly “Postposttranssexual Terms for a 21st Century,” 1:1 (2014), 249-51.
  • "Feminist Perspectives on Trans Issues," The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009/2014 revised),Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • “Trans Women and ‘Interpretive Intimacy’: Some Initial Reflections,” in The Essential Handbook of Women's Sexuality (ed. D. Castenada), Praeger, 2013, 51-68.
  • "Trans Women and the Meaning of ‘Woman’” in Philosophy of Sex: Contemporary Readings (Sixth Edition, eds., A. Soble, N. Power, R. Halwani), Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.  
  • “Full-Frontal Morality: The Naked Truth about Gender,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 27:2 (2012), 319-337
  • “Trans Identities and First-Person Authority” in You've Changed: Sex Reassignment and Personal Identity (ed. Laurie Shrage), Oxford University Press, 2009
  • “Evil Deceivers and Make-Believers: Transphobic Violence and the Politics of Illusion,” Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 22:3 (2007), 43-65.

Reprinted in The Transgender Studies Reader 2 (eds. Susan Stryker and Aren Z. Aizura, Routledge (2013).

  • “Gender, Identity, Theory, and Action” in Gender, Identity, Equity and Violence (ed. Geraldine Stahly), monograph series Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Enduring Societal Issues, Stylus Publications, 2007, pp. 11-24.




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