"May it never come the day that will tear us apart": notes About classical epistémê, hermaphrodites, androgynous, mutilated people and their modern (dis)continuities

The image of the hermaphrodite or androgyne was essential for all medical-moral-spiritual discourses about sex and gender in our culture, from Antiquity until the eighteenth century. With the epistemological change that has happened since the sixteenth century, the old hermaphrodite, associated with the magical and religious world, has lost his/her place in modern classifications. From the nineteenth century on, a new conceptual entity in the West takes place: the pseudo-hermaphrodite from medicine, not the wonder of nature anymore, but its error; a product of the illuminist rationalism and positivism, gradually becoming the father and mother of future transgender identities.

Hermaphrodites; Androgynous; Monsters; Transgenders

Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero - Pagu Universidade Estadual de Campinas, PAGU Cidade Universitária "Zeferino Vaz", Rua Cora Coralina, 100, 13083-896, Campinas - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 19) 3521 7873, (55 19) 3521 1704 - Campinas - SP - Brazil
E-mail: cadpagu@unicamp.br