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While reviewing and proof-reading the write-up for this article just prior to posting, the following phrase--though not the main point--struck me. "...premodern lesbians were part of the audience for culture and responded to that culture on an individual as well as a collective basis." When I brainstorm lesbian historic fiction, this is one of the concepts I keep constantly in mind.

This article is an example of why I find historiographic analysis worth the trouble to slog through the terminology and mental gymnastics (and the occasional need to chase down questions like "what exactly does 'alterity' mean in this context?").  Writers of historical fiction are always asking the question, "What is our relationship to the past?" whether they realize it or not.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 17a - On the Shelf for December 2017 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2017/12/02 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for December 2017.

Usually this podcast comes to you from my living room in California, but this time I’ve been out visiting my girlfriend Lauri in New York City, and we’re recording together from a hotel room where we’ve just finished attending Chessiecon, a Baltimore area science fiction convention. Say hi to the listeners, Lauri!

Lauri: Greetings all!

There is a standard shape to collections of academic papers like this. One required feature is the introduction that lays out the outline of All That Has Come Before followed by a brief summary of each paper that is included. In the book itself, this is a valuable preface, but in my blogging project it means there will be entries that appear to have no useful content. Like this one. Sorry.

I’ve interleaved a fair amount of criticism and corrections inside my summary of this article, simply because I feel that the material involves so many gaps and oversights that it moves from “flawed” to “misleading”.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 16c - Book Appreciation with Farah Mendlesohn

(Originally aired 2017/11/18 - listen here)

Farah talks about two novels by Ellen Galford that she really enjoys for their historic elements. (And incidentally inspired me to add Moll Cutpurse to the topic list for the podcast.)

Unfortunately no transcript is available for the interview episodes at this time.

Last week I talked about how manipulation of point-of-view can change the entire flavor of what I’m writing. This week, rather than talking about my own writing, I’d like to bring together three things that have passed through my brain recently about understanding and portraying romantic relationships between women in historical settings.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 16d - When did we become Lesbians?  - transcript

(Originally aired 2017/11/25 - listen here)

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 16b - Interview with Farah Mendlesohn


(Originally aired 2017/11/11 - listen here)

This collection centers around the general problem that it is anachronistic and unhistoric to pursue “pre-modern lesbians” from a desire for identity and connection, but that without this desire, the forces and filters of heteronormativity, sexism, and anti-identitarianism work to erase or dismiss the historic data that an identitarian approach is ideally suited to uncover. Historiography challenges the modern lesbian to ask “who or what would I be if I were born in a different era?” And to recognize that individual personal identity is not as fixed as current fashion holds it to be.


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