Josie Wenig

Josie Wenig

Graduate Student

About Josie Wenig

I entered the graduate program in Religious Studies in 2017, and am pursuing an M.A. in the Religion, Textuality, and Cultural Imagination track. Before joining Religious Studies, I earned a B.S. in Public Affairs and a B.A. in Gender Studies, with an honors thesis historicizing rhetorics of sexuality and otherness in online communities of queer women.

I bring my knowledge of transgender and queer theories to bear on the intellectual world of the late ancient Roman Empire. I focus on Christian and Neoplatonic thought from the 3rd to the 5th centuries, paying particular attention to relationships between language, textual interpretation, and embodiment (construed broadly to include the sexed body, ascetic practice, and ontological distinctions between the material and intelligible). This work follows the genealogical methods of Michel Foucault and David Halperin, and as such seeks to problematize modern formations of gender and sexuality. As a secondary interest, I study subjectivity and gender in German Idealism and its reception.

During my time in the department, my project has manifested in various considerations: How do Origen of Alexandria’s theological system and Ryan Trecartin’s genderqueer films represent similar hermeneutic methods and cosmological beliefs? What can representations of eunuchs and cross-dressing saints tell us about the queering of developmental temporality? How do we responsibly talk about sex difference and gender transformation in different historical periods? Is Hegelian negativity queerly reproductive?