chapter  17
13 Pages

Transgender History (and otherwise Approaches to Queer Embodiment)

ByFinn Enke

This essay reflects on the major goals and problems that generate transgender history, and refutes the relegation of trans to a special or marginal topic within queer history and US history. Enke details the conceptual terrain of transgender history, focusing particularly on historiography that offers historical findings and critical methodological and theoretical frameworks that expand the scope and imagination of trans and queer history. In particular, contexts and periods that are not rooted in modern concepts of sex and gender (for example, engagements with indigeneity, de/colonialism, race, or scholarship much of the world prior to the nineteenth century) suggest that a gender- and trans-inflected analysis necessarily begins by suspending assumptions about how and what gender means, how and what bodies mean, and the significance of either.