The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender Before Modernity

Leah DeVun

University of Pennsylvania

Monday, November 15, 2021 3:30 pm EST

Online Event

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This talk focuses on ideas and individuals who allegedly combined or crossed sex or gender categories in Europe from 200–1400 C.E. Focusing on premodern European thought and culture, this lecture looks at past attempts to define masculinity and femininity, as well as efforts to manage individuals and communities who were perceived as outside of these categories. In a moment when questions about sex, gender, and identity have become incredibly urgent, this lecture explores a complex and often contradictory past. It shows how premodern thinkers created a system of sex and embodiment that both anticipates and challenges modern beliefs about what it means to be male, female—and human.