Past Event

The Past and Future of Nonbinary History

October 13, 2023
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
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East Gallery, Maison Française, Buell Hall

A Talk by Leah DeVun

Leah DeVun will be talking about her research in non-binary history and her recent book, The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance (Columbia University Press, 2021). Her pathbreaking history of nonbinary sex focuses on ideas and individuals who allegedly combined or crossed sex or gender categories from 200–1400 C.E. The book considers a host of thinkers–theologians, cartographers, natural philosophers, lawyers, poets, surgeons, and alchemists—who used ideas about nonbinary sex as conceptual tools, not only to order their political, cultural, and natural worlds but to define "the human." 

Leah DeVun is a Professor at Rutgers University, where she teaches courses in History and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is the co-editor of "Trans*historicities" (with Zeb Tortorici), a special issue of the journal TSQ (Duke, 2018); and author of Prophecy, Alchemy, and the End of Time (Columbia, 2009), winner of the John Nicholas Brown Prize.

This talk is presented in partnership between the Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender, the Department of French, and the Columbia Maison Française.
Co-sponsored by: the Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.