Presenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture

TitlePresenting Gender: Changing Sex in Early-Modern Culture
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsMounsey, Chris
Number of Pages301
PublisherBucknell University Press
CityLewisburg, PA

Presenting Gender engages with one of the most intriguing aspects of Early Modern and Enlightenment culture: gender passing, the phenomenon of passing oneself off as a member of the opposite biological sex. This collection of ten historically informed and theoretically sophisticated essays by European and American scholars employs "passing" as a pivotal practical, ideological, and textual term for investigating the relations among gender, sex, subjectivity, politics, and economics in a wide range of texts and social and cultural practices during the period 1600-1800. The relations between sex and gender, and biology and culture are found to be imbricated but not indissociable. Rich in detail and methodologically rigorous, Presenting Gender makes a significant contribution to our understanding of the shift from Renaissance and Restoration to Enlightenment understandings of identity generally, and sexual identity specifically, and will complicate the hitherto rather rigid periodization of the years 1600-1800.

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