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Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 21c - Book Appreciation with Liz Bourke

(Originally aired 2018/04/21 - listen here)

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

In this episode reviewer Liz Bourke recommends some favorite queer historical novels:

Historical studies of prominent women such as Queen Elizabeth I often focus on the men who filled key positions in their governments or who served as advisors. Such an approach that looks primarily at formal structures can overlook the immense power and influence that women had in a social context where people spent most of their lives in gender-segregated contexts.

The 18th century English performer Charlotte Charke manipulated gender performance both on stage and off. Charke's performances--whether dramatic, economic, or literary--represented a challenge to gender boundaries of the time and have continued to stand as a challenge to historians engaging with Charke's person and performances. Was Charke's off-stage performance as "Mr. Brown" simple economic necessity? Was it a reflection of transgender identity? Was it a strategem to engage in homoerotic encounters with women?

There's a lot of meat to chew on in this article, and I think that Trumbach's exploration of shifts in how same-sex desire was understood and classified during the "long 18th century" is both fascinating and valuable. But at the same time, I see a lot (and I mean, A LOT) of flaws and weaknesses in how he frames and presents the data and his conclusions. Which I have commented on at great length interspersed with my summary of the article.

There are many philosophical pitfalls in the desire to categorize historic individuals or concepts in western culture as "lesbian" as we moderns understand and use the term--I say this despite my own use of the word as a shorthand in this project. (A shorthand I have no intention in abandoning for a variety of reasons.) Many of those pitfalls revolve around historic shifts in the understanding of the nature of physiological sex, the relationship of sex to performative gender, and the relationship of both of those to erotic and romantic desire.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 21b - Interview with Alyssa Cole - (transcript not available)

(Originally aired 2018/04/14 - listen here)

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

In this episode we talk about

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 21a - On the Shelf for April - Transcript

(Originally aired 2018/04/07 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for April 2018.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 20e - "One Night in Saint-Martin" by Catherine Lundoff - transcript

(Originally aired 2018/03/31 - listen here)

Welcome to the debut offering of the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast original fiction series! I think you’re going to love the stories that we have lined up for you across the year.

I'm starting a series of four articles from a collection entitled Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity. After this first article, the others group nicely to cover shifts in cultural understandings of gender and sexuality categories in western Europe in the 16th through 18th centuries. If it weren't for the blog's structure of covering the contents of a collection in series, I'd pair this current article with another one I have coming up on the sexual context of cross-dressing in the medieval Middle East.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 20c - Book Appreciation with Elizabeth Bear

(Originally aired 2018/03/17 - listen here)

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

In this episode Elizabeth Bear recommends a favorite queer historical novels:

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