Department of History

  • Portrait (head shot photo)
  • Leah DeVun
  • Associate Professor of History; and Vice Chair for Undergraduate Education
  • Degree: Ph.D. Columbia University, 2004
  • Rutgers : At Rutgers since 2011
  • Specialty: Medieval Europe: Women's and Gender History
  • Email:
  • Office: 007A Van Dyck Hall
  • Phone: 848-932-8535



Leah DeVun focuses on the history of gender, sexuality, science, and medicine in pre-modern Europe, as well as on contemporary queer and transgender studies. DeVun’s new book, The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press (in spring 2021). DeVun is also the author of Prophecy, Alchemy, and the End of Time, winner of the 2013 John Nicholas Brown Prize, and co-editor (with Zeb Tortorici) of Trans*historicities, a special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly (2018) devoted to transgender history before the advent of current categories and terminologies of gender. DeVun has also written articles for GLQ, WSQ, Osiris, Journal of the History of Ideas, postmedieval, and Radical History Review, among other publications. DeVun is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, Huntington Library, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, American Philosophical Society, and Stanford Humanities Center.

DeVun is also a multi-media artist and curator whose work explores queer, feminist, and gender nonconforming history. DeVun’s artwork has been featured in Artforum, People, Huffington Post, Slate, Art Papers, Hyperallergic, and Modern Painters, and at venues including the ONE Archives Gallery and Museum at the University of Southern California, Houston Center for Photography, Blanton Museum, Leslie-Lohman Museum, and Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. DeVun has curated exhibitions and programs at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, NYU’s Fales Library and Special Collections, and other venues.


  • 510:101 Development of Europe I
  • 506:401:01 Science, Sex, and Society
  • 506:401:15 The Body and Society
  • 510:211 Harvest of the Middle Ages
  • 510:560:01 Readings in Women’s and Gender History
  • 510:539:01 Colloquium in Women’s and Gender History: The Body
  • 510:539:02 Colloquium in Women’s and Gender History: Queer History



  • The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance (Columbia University
    Press; projected publication date is Dec. 2020).
  • Trans*historicities, special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 5:4 (2018) (co-editor,
    with Zeb Tortorici).
  • Prophecy, Alchemy, and the End of Time: John of Rupescissa in the Late Middle Ages (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).
    *Winner of the John Nicholas Brown Prize for Prophecy, Alchemy and the End of Time, 2013 (Best Book from Medieval Academy of America)

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

  • “Mapping the Boundaries of Sex in Marvels of the East,” in Trans Before Trans, ed. Greta LaFleur, Masha Raskolnikov and Anna Klosowska (forthcoming).
  • “Heavenly Hermaphrodites: Sexual Difference at the Beginning and End of Time,” postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies 9 (2018): 132-146.
  • “I Object,” ASAP/Journal: The Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present 1:2 (2016): 201-6.
  • “Erecting Sex: Hermaphrodites and the Medieval Science of Surgery,” Scientific Masculinities, ed. Erika Lorraine Milam and Robert A. Nye, Osiris 30:1 (2015): 17-37.
  • “Images from the Hannah Montana Series,” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 43:1-2 (2015): 83-6.
  • “Archives Behaving Badly,” (with Michael Jay McClure) Radical History Review 120 (2014): 121-30.
  • “Friendship Books,” in Public Collectors, ed. Marc Fischer (New York: Inventory Press, 2014), 101-12.
  • “The Jesus Hermaphrodite: Science and Sex Difference in Premodern Europe,” Journal of the History of Ideas 69:2 (2008): 193-218.
  • “‘Human Heaven’: John of Rupescissa’s Alchemy at the End of the World,” in History in the Comic Mode, ed. Rachel Fulton and Bruce Holsinger (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007): 251-261. (Peer reviewed.) *Winner of the 2006 Jerry Stannard International Memorial Award for the Best Article of the Year
  • Multiple entries, Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, ed. Daniel Patte et al. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).   
  • Multiple entries, LGBTQ America Today, ed. John Hawley (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008).
  • “Hermaphrodites,” in Women and Gender in Medieval Europe: An Encyclopedia, ed. Margaret Schaus et al. (New York: Routledge, 2006): 362-363.


  • John Nicholas Brown Prize for Prophecy, Alchemy and the End of Time, 2013 (Best Book from Medieval Academy of America)
  • Faculty Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, 2011-2012
  • Charles Donald O'Malley Fellowship, David Geffen School of Medicine and Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library History and Special Collection for the Sciences, UCLA, 2010-2011
  • Visiting Scholar Fellowship, University of Texas Medical Branch, 2008
  • Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, 2008
  • Solmsen Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2006-2007
  • Jerry Stannard International Memorial Award for the Best Article of the Year (in the History of Materia medica, Medicinal Botany, Pharmacy, and Folklore of Drug Therapy before 1700), 2006, for “’Human Heaven’: John of Rupescissa’s Alchemy at the End of the World”
  • Summer Fellowship, UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2005
  • Francis Bacon Fellowship, Huntington Library, 2004

Upcoming Events

Tue Sep 21 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Jody Madeira: RCHA Seminar
Thu Sep 23 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
Slavery + Freedom Studies Working Group: A Virtual Book Talk w/ Jessica Marie Johnson
Tue Sep 28 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Elaine LaFay: RCHA Seminar
Fri Oct 01 @ 9:30AM - 02:00PM
Allen Howard: High School Teachers Institute
Tue Oct 05 @11:00AM - 01:00PM
Jennifer Trowbridge: RCHA Seminar
Wed Oct 06 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Faculty Meeting

General Inquiries

Live Chat Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  • 9:00am-12:30pm
  • 1:30pm-4:00pm



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