New Publication: Trans and Genderqueer Subjects in Medieval Hagiography, edited by Alicia Spencer-Hall and Blake Gutt

This edited volume presents an interdisciplinary examination of trans and genderqueer subjects in medieval hagiography. Scholarship has productively combined analysis of medieval literary texts with modern queer theory yet, too often, questions of gender are explored almost exclusively through a prism of sexuality, rather than gender identity. This volume moves beyond such limitations, foregrounding the richness of hagiography as a genre integrally resistant to limiting binaristic categories, including rigid gender binaries. The collection showcases scholarship by emerging trans and genderqueer authors, as well as the work of established researchers. Working at the vanguard of historical trans studies, these scholars demonstrate the vital and vitally political nature of their work as medievalists. Trans and Genderqueer Subjects in Medieval Hagiography enables the recreation of a lineage linking modern trans and genderqueer individuals to their medieval ancestors, providing models of queer identity where much scholarship has insisted there were none, and re-establishing the place of non-normative gender in history. For an overview of the collection, please see the Table of Contents below.

The volume also includes a detailed ‘Trans and Genderqueer Studies Terminology, Language, and Usage Guide’, produced by trans and genderqueer medievalists and their allies, designed to assist (medievalist) scholars who are interested in incorporating trans and genderqueer readings into their own work.

The volume ‘Introduction’ and ‘Usage Guide’ are available to download for free from the

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, then you can get 20% off the list price till 6 June with the code ‘Pub_TGMH’. The code is valid for the hardback and eBook on the Amsterdam University Press website (customers based in UK/Europe/Rest of World) and for the hardback on the BTPS website (customers based in US/Canada). 

If you would like to review the collection, please contact Lucia Dove ( at the Press directly. 


Alicia Spencer-Hall is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London (UK). Her research interests include medieval hagiography, disability, gender, digital culture, and film and media studies. 

Blake Gutt is a postdoctoral scholar with the Michigan Society of Fellows (University of Michigan, USA). He specializes in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century French, Occitan and Catalan literature, and modern queer and trans theory.


‘Introduction’, Alicia Spencer-Hall and Blake Gutt

Following the Traces: Reassessing the Status Quo, Reinscribing Trans and Genderqueer Realities

1. ‘Assigned Female at Death: Joseph of Schönau and the Disruption of Medieval Gender Binaries’, Martha G. Newman

2. ‘Inherited Futures and Queer Privilege: Capgrave’s Life of St Katherine’, Caitlyn McLoughlin

3. ‘Juana de la Cruz: Gender-Transcendent Prophetess’, Kevin C.A. Elphick

4. ‘Non-Standard Masculinity and Sainthood in Niketas David’s Life of Patriarch Ignatios’, Felix Szabo

Peripheral Vision(s): Objects, Images, and Identities

5. ‘Gender-Querying Christ’s Wounds: A Non-Binary Interpretation of Christ’s Body in Late Medieval Imagery’, Sophie Sexon

6. ‘Illuminating Queer Gender Identity in the Manuscripts of the Vie de sainte Eufrosine’, Vanessa Wright

7. ‘The Queerly Departed: Narratives of Veneration in the Burials of Late Iron Age Scandinavia’, Lee Colwill

Genre, Gender, and Trans Textualities

8. ‘St Eufrosine‘s Invitation to Gender Transgression’, Amy V. Ogden

9. ‘Holy Queer and Holy Cure: Sanctity, Disability, and Transgender Embodiment in Tristan de Nanteuil‘, Blake Gutt

10. ‘The Authentic Lives of Transgender Saints: imago Dei and imitatio Christi in the Life of Saint Marinos the Monk’, M.W. Bychowski

Epilogue: ‘Beyond Binaries: A Reflection on The (Trans) Gender(s) of Saints’, Mathilde van Dijk

Appendix: ‘Trans and Genderqueer Studies Terminology, Language, and Usage Guide’


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: