Leah DeVun

111 Van Dyck, 16 Seminary Place, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Rutgers History Website
Rutgers WGSS Website

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I make historical work across different media, including scholarship, lens-based artwork, installations, and interdisciplinary programming. My work focuses on the history of gender and sexuality, the history of science and medicine, the history of premodern Europe, and contemporary feminist and LGBTQ politics and histories.



Ph.D., History, Columbia University, NewYork, NY (with Distinction), 2004

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 2011-Present

Professor of History

Graduate Faculty, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 2004-2011

Associate Professor of History, 2010-2011

Assistant Professor of History, 2004-2010

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, 2003-2004

Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Women’s History

Select Publications

Select Exhibitions and Programs


The Shape of Sex: Nonbinary Gender from Genesis to the Renaissance (New York: Columbia University Press, 2021). *Winner, Haskins Medal; *Winner, Margaret W. Rossiter Prize; Finalist, Lambda Literary Award; Honorable Mention, John Boswell Prize

Trans*historicities, special issue of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 5:4 (2018) (co-editor, with Zeb Tortorici).

Prophecy, Alchemy, and the End of Time (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009 [paperback, 2013]). *Winner, John Nicholas Brown Prize for Book of the Year in Medieval Studies from the Medieval Academy of America

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

“Mapping the Boundaries of Sex in Marvels of the East,” in Trans Historical: Gender Plurality Before the Modern, ed. Greta LaFleur, Masha Raskolnikov, and Anna Kłosowska (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2021).

“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,” in “Scientific Masculinities,” special issue of Osiris 30:1 (2015): 17-37.

“Archives Behaving Badly,” (with Michael Jay McClure) in “Queering Archives,” special issue of Radical History Review 120 (2014): 121-30.

“Animal Appetites,” in “On the Visceral: Race, Sex, and Other Gut Feelings,” special issue, GLQ 20:4 (2014):407-36.

“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. *Winner of the 2006 Jerry Stannard International Memorial Award for the Best Article of the Year 

Catalog and Short Essays

“Visibly In,” Making Home: Belonging, Memory and Utopia in the 21st Century, the 2024 Smithsonian Design Triennial (forthcoming). 

“Carol Saft: Photographs” (forthcoming). 

“Young Joon Kwak’s ‘Hermaphroditus’s Reveal,’” in Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects, ed. David Evans Frantz, Christina Linden, and Chris E. Vargas (Chicago: Hirmer and University of Chicago Press, 2024) (forthcoming). 

“Altar-ing Birth,” Clarity Haynes: Portals, ed. New Discretions (New York: DAP, 2024), 8-15. 

“Pedagogy,” Shifter Magazine: Dictionary of the Possible, ed. Avi Alpert and Sreshta Rit Premnath (New York: Shifter, 2016), 131-3 (with Géraldine Gourbe).

“Childhood in the Age of Miley Cyrus,” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 43:1-2 (2015): 83-6.

“Friendship Books,” in Public Collectors, ed.Marc Fischer (Princeton: Inventory Books, 2014), 101-12. 

Photo Reviews and Fairs 

2024 ImageNation, with Collater.al Photo and Just Women Gallery, Galerie Joseph Le Palais, Paris, France (Upcoming) (Curator: Slavica Veselinović)

2023 PhotoVogue Festival, Milan, Italy (with Eye Mama Project)

2023 ImageNation, with Collater.al Photo and Just Women Gallery, Fondazione Luciana Matalon, Milan, Italy (Curator: Slavica Veselinović)

2017 SPRING/BREAK Art Show, New York, NY (Curator: Milk & Night Curatorial)

Awards and Honors

2023 Photolucida, Critical Mass Top 50

2023 New York Portfolio Review (presented by New York Times)

Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

2025 Resemblance, Blue Sky: Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Portland, OR, (Upcoming)

2024 Resemblance, Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Gallery, Douglass College, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (Upcoming)

2024 Resemblance, Mrs. Gallery, Maspeth, NY (Upcoming)

2023 Lesbian Land, Stonewall National Museum and Archives, Fort Lauderdale, FL (Curator: Ophelia [Leah] Appleton)

2018 Our Troubled Youth, Tracy/Barry Gallery, New York University, New York, NY 

2015 Heavy Petting, DOSE Projects, Brooklyn, NY (with Riitta Ikonen) (Curator: Laura Splan)

2014 Lead and Follow, The Front, New Orleans, LA (Curator: Stephanie Patton)

2012 Latent Images, ONE Archives Gallery and Museum, University of Southern California, West Hollywood, CA (Curator: David Evans Frantz)

2011 Femininity Constructed, Satellite Gallery at the University of Texas, San Antonio, San Antonio, TX (with Sarah Sudhoff)

2010 Our Hands On Each Other, Women and their Work, Austin, TX (Curator: Risa Puleo)

2010 Beauty Knows No Pain, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX (with O. Rufus Lovett) (Curator: Madeline Yale)

Group Exhibitions

2024 Alone Together: Critical Mass 2023 Top 50, Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver, CO (Curator: Daniel Boetker-Smith)

2023 Eye Mama, Royal Photographic Society, Bristol, England (Curator: Karni Arieli)

2023 Care and Collaboration, Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Lubbock, TX (Curator: Sarah Sudhoff) 

2023 Benefit Auction, Center for Photography, Woodstock, Kingston, NY (Curator: Savannah Spirit)

2022 At Home, Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA (Curator: Ophelia [Leah] Appleton)

2022 Tempus Fugit, LatchKey Gallery, New York, NY (Curator: Charles Moore)

2022 Hands Off Our Cuntry, Undercurrent Projects + Artsy, New York, NY (Curator: Savannah Spirit)

2022 At Home, Mainline Art Center, Philadelphia, PA (Curator: Ophelia [Leah] Appleton)

2019   The Other Is You, BRIC, Brooklyn, NY (Curator: Liz Collins, Sol Nova, and Anna Parisi)

2019   Queer As I, HERE Art Center, New York, NY (Curator: Dan Halm)

2019 Every Woman Biennial, La Mama, New York, NY (Curator: C. Finley)

2018   Lesbian Land, Galerie Verbeeck – Van Dyck, Antwerp Queer Arts Festival, Antwerp, Belgium

2018   Mirror Mirror, Paul Robeson Gallery, Newark, NJ (Curator: Anonda Bell)

2018   Cast of Characters, Bureau of General Services, Queer Division, New York, NY (Curator: Liz Collins)

2017   Baxter Street Camera Club Benefit Auction, Baxter Street Camera Club, New York, NY (Curators: Wendy Vogel and Janice Guy)

2017   Post Election, September Gallery, Hudson, NY (Curators: Kristen Dodge and Kate Gilmore)

2017   Chimeras, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE (Curator: Risa Puleo)

2016   Rosetta, Unisex Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (Curators: Jennifer Simmons and Sara Maria Salamone)

2016   The Summit (in collaboration with Lauryn Siegel), Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (Curator: Liz Collins)

2016   Queering Space, Green Gallery, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT (Curators: Loren Britton, Shikeith Cathey, Christie DeNizio, Erik Freer, Johnathan Payne, Asad Pervaiz, Res, Buzz Slutsky, and Erica Wessman)

2016   WE:AMEricans, Station Independent Projects, New York, NY (Curator: Ruben Natal-San Miguel)

2016   ARTPAPERS 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Atlanta, GA

2015   Paper and Performance: The Bent Page, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, TX (Curator: Katie Anania)

2015   Transiting Desire, She Works Flexible, Houston, TX (Curator: Lynne McCabe)

2015   Friendship and Freedom, MASS Gallery, Austin, TX (with Edie Fake and Nightmare City) (Curator: Erin Gentry)

2014   On the Cruising of Archives, MoMA PS1 Contemporary Arts Center, Long Island City, NY (Panel, with Ulrike Müller, David Evans Frantz, and FRANK)

2014   If We Carry On Speaking the Same Language to Each Other, We Are Going to End Up Repeating the Same History, Parmer Projects, Brooklyn, NY (Curator: Amanda Parmer)

2014   Permanency: Selections from the Permanent Collection, Leslie-Lohman Museum, New York, NY

2013   Lesbian Herstory Archives 40th Anniversary Exhibition, Johannes Vogt Gallery, New York, NY

2013   Four Core Chamber, Martina Johnston Gallery, Berkeley, CA

2013   Zeitgeist, SOMArts, San Francisco, CA

2013   Bodies in Motion, VU Gallery, Western Wash. University, Bellingham, WA

2013   If I Had A Camera…Re-Imagining Film and Media through a Feminist Lens, Sage Art Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY

2012   10.-22.-38 Astoria, The Lab, San Francisco, CA

2012   Twisted Sisters, DODGE Gallery, New York, NY (Curators: Janet Phelps and Kristen Dodge)

2012   Teenage Wasteland, Co-Lab, Austin, TX

2011   The Gun and Knife Show, Centraltrak, Dallas, TX (Curator: Heyd Fontanot)

2009   New American Talent, The Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX (Juror: Hamza Walker)

Curated Projects

2014 I Will Resist with Every Inch and Every Breath: Punk and the Art of Feminism, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (Panel)

2013 The Future Is History: Feminist Legacies in Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY (Panel)

Using Format