Alison Li B&W

Alison Li is an historian of science and medicine. She writes about hormones and the culture in which they are shaped. Her latest work is Wondrous Transformations available now from University of North Carolina Press.

I’ve been hoping for a long time that somebody would write this book. Alison Li has produced a highly readable, authoritatively researched biography of Harry Benjamin, whose contributions to transgender medicine are not as widely known as they should be. A much-needed corrective.

Susan Stryker, Author of Transgender History
Wondrous Transformations: A maverick physician, the science of hormones, and the birth of the transgender revolution

Wondrous Transformations is the story of Dr. Harry Benjamin (1885-1986), endocrinologist and sexologist best known for his contributions to transgender medicine. Read more

“A smart and readable contribution to transgender studies.” – Publishers Weekly

“This thoughtful, thoroughly researched history provides a foundation and a lens through which to better understand contemporary issues of gender identity….Recommended.” – Choice

Available now from your favourite bookseller. Use discount code 01SOCIAL30 for a 30% discount at UNC Press.


Upcoming events

Macleod Memorial – Aberdeen, Scotland – September 5-8, 2024
I’ll be part of a Canadian delegation to Aberdeen to dedicate a set of bronze plaques at Macleod’s Corner in Duthie Park commemorating the “Toronto Four” — Banting, Best, Collip and Macleod, the co-discoverers of insulin. I will speak on Collip’s contribution at a mini-symposium on Friday, September 6.

University of British Columbia, Vancouver – March 13, 2025
I have the honour of delivering the 2025 Stephen Straker Memorial Lecture for the Graduate Programme in Science and Technology Studies at the University of British Columbia. Stephen StrakerĀ (1942-2004) was a historian of science at UBC for thirty years and the chief inspiration for the creation of the STS program. This annual lecture was created to honour his memory.