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Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 22d - Queer Women’s Communities and Meeting Places - transcript

(Originally aired 2018/05/26 - listen here)

Queer Women’s Communities and Meeting Places

The field of medieval "queer studies" has included a fascination with possible erotic and sexual interpretations of religious imagery and language. Some of the interpretations, I confess, have always felt a bit far-fetched to me. But here we look at the writings of one particular religious woman, Hadewijch of Brabant, whose language is undeniably erotic and passionate, addressing the image of "Lady Minne", whose name reflects erotic rather than platonic love.

There is an unexamined thread in the inclusion of cross-dressing as one of the continuing motifs in the material I cover for the Project. As I've discussed on several occasions, I've included studies on cross-dressing in history and literature both because it provided a context in western literature for the experience or recognition of same-sex attraction, and because it is a popular theme in modern lesbian historical fiction (so it's useful to understand the phenomenon in the historical context).

In following up on references to gender transgression in medieval Arabic literature, I’ve been struck by the way certain motifs align differently from what we see in the literature of Christian cultures. In European romances, “Amazonian” characters who dress and act as men are often a context for accidental homoeroticism. Cross-dressing in general also provides this opportunity.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 22c - Book Appreciation with Jeannelle M. Ferreira - (no transcript available)

(Originally aired 2018/05/19 - listen here)

In the Book Appreciation segments, our featured authors (or your host) will talk about one or more favorite books with queer female characters in a historic setting.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 22b - Interview with Jeannelle M. Ferreira - (transcript not available)

(Originally aired 2018/05/12 - listen here)

A series of interviews with authors of historically-based fiction featuring queer women.

In this episode we talk about

As I note below, I originally picked this up because I thought it would cover all types of cross-dressing in the context of chivalric romances and tournaments. But even though it's restricted to contexts where men perform femininity in a public context, it's still quite relevant to understanding medieval attitudes toward gender crossing and gender performance. In particular, it's a strong reminder that men and women lived in entirely different universes with regard to how cross-gender performance and gender transgression were received.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 22a - On the Shelf for May 2018 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2018/05/05 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for May 2018.

So there I was this morning with the brain-weasels running non-stop in my head telling me, "Nobody actually cares about your stupid podcast. Nobody listens to it except by accident because they're subscrbed to the whole Lesbian Talk Show group. That's why nobody's sent you any questions for your silly 'Ask Sappho' segment. Because they Just. Don't. Care. Here, I'll prove it to you." And I ran a google search on the exact phrase "lesbian historic motif podcast" and scrolled through all the entries that are just podcast venues or my own website. And...wait. The Guardian?

While one of the underlying purposes of the LHMP as a resource for authors is to find examples of women in history who engaged in same-sex relationships, when clear examples from women's lives are not available, a second purpose is to identify cultural experiences that women could have recognized as reflecting their same-sex desires. Or, in simpler terms, if a character in a historical fiction didn't have direct experience of same-sex love, what might she encounter that would validate the concept? What was there in her environment that could "give her ideas"?

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