In keeping with current Covid-19 recommendations, this workshop will follow a hybrid format. The presentation will occur in-person with a small audience of Penn faculty and students and will be streamed via Zoom for all those wishing to join remotely. Participants on Zoom will be able to participate in the Q+A.
"The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender Before Modernity"?
Leah DeVun, Associate Professor, Rutgers University
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.