Session Title

Dysphoric Pedagogies: Teaching about Transgender and Intersex in the Middle Ages

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship (SMFS); TEAMS (Teaching Association for Medieval Studies)

Organizer Name

M. W. Bychowski

Organizer Affiliation

Case Western Reserve Univ.

Presider Name

M. W. Bychowski

Paper Title 1

The White (Supremacist) Legacy of the Medieval Christian Gender Binary

Presenter 1 Name

Joy Ambler

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Dwight-Englewood School

Paper Title 2

If Not Cahun, Who? Silence as Trans Literature

Presenter 2 Name

Ruth Evans

Presenter 2 Affiliation

St. Louis Univ.

Paper Title 3

Medieval/Trans/Medieval: Identities, Intersections and Affinities

Presenter 3 Name

Blake Gutt

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Univ. of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Paper Title 4

Dysphoric Classrooms: Precarity, Capacity, and the Somatic Experiences of Learning while Trans*

Presenter 4 Name

Kadin Henningsen

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Paper Title 5

The Consolation of Trans/Queer Pedagogy: A Backward Approach to Teaching Queer Gender/Sexuality in the Middle Ages

Presenter 5 Name

Zachary Engledow

Presenter 5 Affiliation

Indiana Univ.-Bloomington

Start Date

9-5-2019 3:30 PM

Session Location

Sangren 1910

Description

Questions about transgender and intersex in the Middle Ages are nothing new in scholarship and especially not within classrooms. Students have long seemed curious about all the non-binary and non-cisgender lives that populate the syllabi of pre-modern seminars, sections and surveys. Hands can shoot up from wondering students when reading about the isles of Hermaphrodites or Amazons, sainted monks who started their life living as women, ambiguous figures like Chaucer’s Pardoner, and fictional stories like Roman de Silence or historical personas such as Joan of Arc. Whether or not we consider ourselves intersex or transgender studies scholars, as instructors of pre-modern eras we wrestle with such questions about how to respond to students who are excited to connect the gender diversity they see in their world with the images and stories they are reading about in the distant past.

This panel aims to offer a range of pedagogy techniques, lesson plans, assignments, reading lists, and anecdotes for all those interested in enhancing how they teach about transgender and intersex in the Middle Ages. The concept of “Dysphoric Pedagogies” is drawn from the DSM-5 diagnostic language that describes the experience where one’s identified or expressed gender conflicts with the gender assigned by society. Within the modern world there are many ways to experience dysphoria and there are trans, intersex, and non-binary who do not experience this conflict. We want to hear about your valuable experiences in teaching through such instances of dysphoria within the art, history, and literature in an era before the DSM-5 and its various diagnoses, or the coinage of the words “transgender” or “intersex,” How have these moments of gender diversity and conflict provoked conversations about self and society, expression and audience, nature and nurture, gender norms and non-conformity, past and present? Each presenter is recommended to consider how you’ve engaged with the resonance between medieval figures and the long history of trans, intersex, gender queerness and non-binary gender. Gabrielle Bychowski

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May 9th, 3:30 PM

Dysphoric Pedagogies: Teaching about Transgender and Intersex in the Middle Ages

Sangren 1910

Questions about transgender and intersex in the Middle Ages are nothing new in scholarship and especially not within classrooms. Students have long seemed curious about all the non-binary and non-cisgender lives that populate the syllabi of pre-modern seminars, sections and surveys. Hands can shoot up from wondering students when reading about the isles of Hermaphrodites or Amazons, sainted monks who started their life living as women, ambiguous figures like Chaucer’s Pardoner, and fictional stories like Roman de Silence or historical personas such as Joan of Arc. Whether or not we consider ourselves intersex or transgender studies scholars, as instructors of pre-modern eras we wrestle with such questions about how to respond to students who are excited to connect the gender diversity they see in their world with the images and stories they are reading about in the distant past.

This panel aims to offer a range of pedagogy techniques, lesson plans, assignments, reading lists, and anecdotes for all those interested in enhancing how they teach about transgender and intersex in the Middle Ages. The concept of “Dysphoric Pedagogies” is drawn from the DSM-5 diagnostic language that describes the experience where one’s identified or expressed gender conflicts with the gender assigned by society. Within the modern world there are many ways to experience dysphoria and there are trans, intersex, and non-binary who do not experience this conflict. We want to hear about your valuable experiences in teaching through such instances of dysphoria within the art, history, and literature in an era before the DSM-5 and its various diagnoses, or the coinage of the words “transgender” or “intersex,” How have these moments of gender diversity and conflict provoked conversations about self and society, expression and audience, nature and nurture, gender norms and non-conformity, past and present? Each presenter is recommended to consider how you’ve engaged with the resonance between medieval figures and the long history of trans, intersex, gender queerness and non-binary gender. Gabrielle Bychowski