“Finding a Ditch, He Wanted to Jump Over It”: Sex Change Stories in Ambroise Paré’s Monster and Marvels

Date

2021-08-10

Authors

Dunn-Krahn, Soph

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Abstract

The political instability in Early Modern France lead to a proliferation of texts on so-called ‘monsters’ including the intersex person, whom the early moderns called ‘hermaphrodites’. The story of Marie Germaine appears in Ambroise Paré’s Monsters and Marvels, alongside his chapter on intersex people, telling of her miraculous sex-change after jumping over a ditch. And yet this story, and others like it, are rare compared to the abundance of literature on ‘hermaphrodites’. This poster found that it was the stability and categorizable nature of the figure of the ‘hermaphrodite’ which led to its popularity, and began the process of solidifying the physician and surgeon as the authority on matters of gender and sex.

Description

Keywords

Ambroise Paré, Sex-Change Stories, Intersex, Transgender, Renaissance Studies, Monsters and Marvels, Renaissance France

Citation