IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 1620: Hagiography beyond Gender Essentialism, I: Trans and Genderqueer Sanctity - Rethinking the Status Quo

Thursday 6 July 2017, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Hagiography Society
Organiser:Alicia Spencer-Hall, Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London
Moderator/Chair:Alicia Spencer-Hall, Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London
Paper 1620-aMedieval Trans Lives in Anamorphosis: A Pregnant Male Saint and Backward Birth
(Language: English)
Blake Gutt, King's College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 1620-bImitating Saints' Transgressive Genders
(Language: English)
Amy V. Ogden, Department of French Language & Literature, University of Virginia
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Religious Life, Women's Studies
Paper 1620-cCistercian Nuns and Monks and the Limits on Gender Fluidity around the Year 1200
(Language: English)
Martha Newman, Department of History, University of Texas, Austin
Index terms: Gender Studies, Hagiography, Religious Life, Theology
Abstract

Hagiography is all too often assumed to be a place where gender essentialism festers, complete with claustrophobic gender roles. However, numerous scholars, such as Caroline Walker Bynum and Leslie Feinberg, have shown that saints routinely challenged the options offered to them by the gender binary. Saints could, and did, cross-dress; live as a gender other to which they were assigned at birth; and modulate their identity by blending traits traditionally coded as male and female. This panel seeks to develop the important work of these scholarly forebears, rethinking our current approaches to trans and genderqueer sanctity in the Middle Ages.