Assistant Professor


Claudia Cohen Hall 363



Curriculum Vitæ


Ph.D. Yale University

M.A. Yale University

M.Phil. Yale University

Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Yale University

M.A. University of Utah

A.B. Smith College

I am a historian of knowledge production about sex, gender, and sexuality. My work uses queer, trans, and feminist methods to interrogate classification systems and how they become regarded as biological truths, primarily in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century United States and its colonial and white supremacist context.

In my first book project, tentatively titled Binary Logic, I look at how sex emerged as a privileged way of sorting bodies not despite but because of its incoherence. Rather than focus on those whom scientists and medical doctors cast out of male and female categories as pathological aberrations, the book traces how knowledge producers brought ill-fitting bodies back into a normative binary with no harm done to sex itself. It follows a sprawling cast of researchers through zoology, eugenics, gynecology, statistical studies of sex, and transgender medicine as they self-fashioned their expertise, created enmeshed fields of sex science and race science, and made science the way to know sex. Research for this project has been generously funded by the American Philosophical Society, the Kinsey Institute, and the Yale Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies.

I am also in the earliest zygotic stages of a second project on speculative imaginings of sex, gender, and sexuality in the twentieth century United States. I am gravitating especially towards the aftermaths of feared future disasters, in which human and non-human survival is located in heterosexual reproduction, and queerness becomes a luxury—though equally intrigued by more utopic writings on queer science futures.

In addition to my historical work, I am invested in collaborating with biologists and ecologists on scientific projects rethinking contemporary approaches to sex research, and otherwise finding ways to promulgate STS in action in the service of more just science. 

Research Interests

Queer and feminist science and technology studies; history of sex, gender, and sexuality; trans history; history of race science and eugenics; classification; uncertainty; life sciences; 19th and 20th century United States

Selected Work

Beans Velocci, "Standards of Care: Uncertainty and Risk in Harry Benjamin's Transsexual Classifications," Transgender Studies Quarterly 8, no. 4 (2021).

Beans Velocci, "These Uncertain Times," Avidly (2020). 

Beans Velocci, "Perspective: The battle over trans rights is about power, not science," Washington Post (2018).


Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Courses Taught

Queer Science

Trans Method

First Year Seminar: Studying Sex

Capstone Seminar in STSC

Queer Life in US History

Faculty Bookshelf