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date: 07 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

What would it mean to consider Montaigne as a gender theorist? Not surprisingly, the essayist imagines sex, gender, and sexuality as movement-based, nonontological phenomena, even as stasis remains implicated in that very movement. Above all, gender is a textual process of relations between “forms,” or stable-seeming constructs, and the dismantling or taking apart of those forms. This article places Montaigne into productive dialogue with modern gender, queer, and transgender theory in considering how concepts such as habit, skepticism, form, and imagination relate to movement-centered gender construction. The sexed body, gendered behavior, masculinity, and same-sex male sexuality are the key elements of subjectivity formation discussed in this framework. The article concludes with a consideration of how “queer” can be taken as a possible concept in the Essays.

Keywords: Montaigne, Renaissance, gender, female, male, masculinity, skepticism, sex, queer, transgender

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