The medieval sexual world was in many respects profoundly different from the modern, despite superficial resemblances. Burger, Glenn, and Steven F. My research has been concerned with gender, sexuality, and more recently, utopianism in medieval literature and culture. This article covers the period from Late Antiquity to the beginning of the Protestant Reformation and should be regarded as a starting point for research rather than a comprehensive guide. This collection is the first to be devoted entirely to medieval sexuality informed by current theories of sexuality and gender. In the early twentieth century, marriage manuals sought to link marital sex to the progress of civilization, searching for the history of what they considered to be normal sexuality.
While Boswell is aware of significant changes in how homosexuality is understood across the centuries, he insists nonetheless on the transhistorical usefulness of the category. Can understanding a queer past make queer lives in the present more livable? De Lorris, Guillaume, and Jean de Meun. Sexuality and Medicine in the Middle Ages. Same-Sex Desire in the English Renaissance: A Sourcebook of Texts, 1470—1650. Edited and translated by Sarah Roche-Mahdi. Same Sex Love and Desire among Women in the Middle Ages. Goldberg's Sodometries takes up not only early modern materials but their resonances with representations of the Persian 1991 and the U.
In addition, Alanus de Insulis' twelfth-century work, De Planctu Naturae, provides a discourse on sex, sexuality, and language that sets the stage for other medieval narratives, including the romance Silence, and feeds into the questions that I have raised in the above. Always considering sexuality in relation to gender, the body, and identity, the essays explore medieval sexuality as a historical construction produced by and embedded in the cultures and institutions of that period. Those contributing to this scholarship include Boswell, E. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Jane Burns, U of North Carolina; Joan Cadden, U of California, Davis; Michael Camille, U of Chicago; Dyan Elliott, Indiana U; Louise O. Insular Romance: Politics, Faith, and Culture in Anglo-Norman and Middle English Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.
New York: Continuum Publishing Company, 1991. Eight thematic essays, with an introduction surveying the subject. Jodie Medd Cambridge University Press, 2015. Contains guides to further reading. Amazons at the Gates Notes Bibliography Index. Far from Heaven: Nuns, Prioresses, and Lollard Anxieties 4. The emphasis on sodomy also tends to privilege male sexuality, though the category of sodomy had an impact as well on defining and limiting female sexuality, as noted in several of the essays in Sautman and Sheingorn's Same Sex Love and Desire among Women in the Middle Ages.
Such texts return us to a core issue of the historical study of sexual difference — the split between theory and practice. Schultz is professor of German at the University of California, Los Angeles. His articles have appeared in Gesta, Different Visions, Kunstlicht, and Studies in Iconography, and his first book, Body-Worlds: Opicinus de Canistris and the Medieval Cartographic Imagination 2014 , was recently published by the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies. General Overviews Histories of sex and sexuality have undergone substantial revision since the 1990s. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1993. This work not only offers new perspectives on the ways in which queer theory might inform our views of sexuality in medieval Europe, but also suggests that medieval constructions of sexuality may offer important contributions to both queer theory and the history of sexuality. Carolyn Dinshaw's Getting Medieval 1999 and Glenn Burger's Chaucer's Queer Nation 2003 look not just at Chaucer's Pardoner and Wife of Bath but also at Lollard writings, The Book of Dinshaw , and the representation of marriage Burger as sites for queer reading.
New York and London: Garland, 1996. Modern identities of heterosexual, homosexual, and lesbian were not recognized in their current form, though there is plentiful evidence for varieties of same-sex and opposite-sex desires and practices. And, as queer studies more generally moves to examine the intersections of sexuality with such other categories as gender, race, religion, class, and age, medieval and early modern work might also move in a similar direction. Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship, and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama. By examining Silence: A Thirteenth-Century Romance, Tristan, von Eschenbach's Parzival, Aucassin et Nicolette, and The Sultan of Babylon, I want to ask these questions: Can the representations of the darkness of 'others' in romance—whether of those from another geographical realm or from another rank than that of the main character s —be understood within the terms of the modern concept of race? Bullough pioneered the proper academic study of medieval sex. French historians such as Jean-Louis Flandrin and Americans including Vern L. Fradenburg, Louise, and Carla Freccero, eds.
Lochrie Karma; Peggy McCracken; and James A. Sex before Sexuality: A Premodern History. Also broadly conceived in the texts they take up and the formulations they develop are Gregory W. From the letters of Heloise to Lollard heretical attacks on the Church, to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and the Amazons of medieval myth, Karma Lochrie focuses on female sexuality in the Middle Ages in an effort to discern a diversified understanding of it. Other queer historical scholarship similarly recovers and reinterprets discourses shaping and shaped by eroticism. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. Some scholars for instance, DiGangi have objected to making sodomy the sole focus of work on premodern sexualities.
The book's highlights include chapters by Dyan Elliott on clerical sexuality, Michael Camille on representing sex in manuscripts, Jane Burns on gender and clothing, and Steven Kruger on sex, race, and religion. Always considering sexuality in relation to gender, the gender, the body, and indentity, the essays explore medieval sexuality as a historical construction produced by and embedded in the cultures and institutions of that period. . Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing unto Others. But even those who strongly emphasize the premodern's alterity do so with the current moment at least partly in mind: to recognize how different sexual configurations were in the past is also to suggest how different they might become in the future.
We have only scratched the surface of the possibilities for a medieval transgender studies — other subjects under investigation include figures like Joan of Arc, fascination with bearded female saints, cross-dressing in the theater, eunuchs, intersexual grammar and language, the gender-crossings of the carnival, and the complex queerness of the Christic body see ; ; ;. In literary studies, scholars have uncovered new or little-known texts—letters exchanged between women or between men that evince erotically-charged affection; poetry like that which Thomas Stehling collects in Medieval Latin Poems of Male Love and Friendship 1984 , and Richard Barnfield's late-sixteenth-century homoerotic poetry. Judith Butler understands the power of queer to reside precisely in the fact that its boundaries are not determined in advance, that it does not name some stable entity but is constantly in the process of being redefined and rearticulated. How, for example, are same-sex and opposite-sex bonds—whether of fraternal love, sexual desire, or marriage—represented in romance? New York: Garland Publishing, 1987. Queering, Queer Theory, and Early Modern Culture Queer theory and queer studies are approaches that date to the late 1980s and early 1990s Teresa de Lauretis is credited with naming queer theory in 1991 in the journal differences.