Trans- and cis- prefixed geographical terms more than a century before they prefixed gender terms. Thomas Jefferson, for example, wrote of Cis- and Transatlantic worlds. The applicability of trans- and cis- to both gender and nation is no mere coincidence of terminology.
Historians have long recognized that gender is, in the worlds of Joan W. Scott, a “useful category of historical analysis,” and, more recently, have come to embrace the value of transnational approaches. In this lecture, Angela Zimmerman, a transgender transnational historian, explains, using concrete examples, how trans* approaches to history illuminate the past in new ways.