Reading Uncertain Genders
This resource will introduce you to the field of historical trans studies, which is the study of trans, genderqueer, and gender nonconforming history. This resource focuses on questions of textual interpretation. It provides you with examples of texts from the 14th-18th centuries that create uncertainty around gender. As these texts are introduced, you will learn about ways that writers create uncertainty around gender, and you will be given the chance to think about why they do so. This is an opportunity to think about the similarities and the differences between discussions of gender in the past and in the present. Literature provides a window into the ways gender was imagined and puzzled over in the past.
Reading Uncertain Genders Worksheet
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- Who was Samuel Bundy?
- Where does the punctuation in modern editions of Shakespeare come from?
- What do we know about the gender of Iphis in John Gower’s story, “Iphis and Ianthe”?
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Iphis and Ianthe
The full text of Gower’s “Iphis and Ianthe” (Confessio Amantis, Book 4, lines 451-538) in the original Middle English with explanatory notes.
Shakespeare’s sonnets (1609 edition)
An online scan of Shakespeare’s sonnets in their original 1609 edition.