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IMC 2020: Sessions

Session 1122: How to Be Trans in the Middle Ages

Wednesday 8 July 2020, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Society for the Study of Homosexuality in the Middle Ages
Organiser:Blake Gutt, Department of French, University of Cambridge
Moderator/Chair:Blake Gutt, Department of French, University of Cambridge
Paper 1122-aNon-Binary Identity in Late Antique Byzantine Theology
(Language: English)
Emma Brown Dewhurst, Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München
Index terms: Gender Studies, Monasticism, Philosophy, Theology
Paper 1122-bChaotic Pronouns: Cuer d’Acier in Perceforest as Nonbinary
(Language: English)
Brooke Heidenreich Findley, Department of French, Pennsylvania State University, Altoona
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - French or Occitan
Paper 1122-c'Dressed in flesh to appear in the world': Imitatio transvesti beyond the Cis/Trans Binary
(Language: English)
Jonah Coman, St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies, University of St Andrews / Glasgow School of Arts
Index terms: Art History - General, Gender Studies, Hagiography, Theology

What precisely did being trans in the Middle Ages entail? How did trans-ness look and sound, how was it lived, felt, and perceived? Modern discussions of 'identifying as', of 'identified gender' and of 'preferred pronouns' seem to separate being from identifying (as). These conceptions, however, are giving way to affirmations of the selfsameness of being trans, and the recognition that trans people are their gender just as cis people are theirs. This panel explores what 'being' was like for medieval trans, genderqueer and gender non-conforming individuals, and how trans-ness was perceived and experienced in relation to notions of nature and instinct, authenticity and identity.