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Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 246 – Our F/Favorite Tropes Part 5: Widows - transcript

(Originally aired 2022/12/17 - listen here)


Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 247 – From the Bird’s Nest by Jennifer Nestojko - transcript

(Originally aired 2022/12/31 - listen here)

Sometimes an article looks really intriguing and then you feel cheated by the actual content. This isn't necessarily the fault of the author -- sometimes it's the fault of my pre-conceptions that "read in" assumptions based on my own interests. I find this happening a lot with novel descriptions. Because my social media feeds combine streams with different defaults (SFF, queer, romance, historical) I have a tendency to fill in any unmentioned characteristics in a book description with my own particular interests.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 245 - On the Shelf for December 2022 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2022/12/03 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for December 2022.

One of the interesting through-lines in the history of female same-sex desire are the parallel strands of "attraction based on similarity" versus "attraction based on difference." If you will: femme-femme and butch-femme. (It would be interesting to look for historic antecedents for butch-butch attraction, which would also fall under the similarity model, but the primary examples tend to be femme-femme.) But these models of attraction or desire aren't limited to same-sex couples.

I've been sorting out the collection of pdfs of journal articles that I haven't blogged yet, so I can get them all taken care of and start some fresh collections. There were three I spotted that were loosely associated with same-sex issues in the medieval Islamic world, so I figured they'd make a good cluster. This one looks at the internal logic of legal texts discussing the appropriate classification and punishment of same-sex acts. The primary focus is on acts between men, but the ways in which women were treated differently is interesting on its own.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 244 – Our F/Favorite Tropes: Kissing Lessons - transcript

(Originally aired 2022/11/19 - listen here)


This paper is brief and preliminary (though, alas, the author's CV doesn't list any more recent publications that appear to have expanded on it) but offers a glorious survey of classical greek painting on ceramics depicting pairs of women with all the symbolic signifiers of erotic courtship.

I don't think I was aware of the poem as a part of this record until I was processing and proofreading the text in preparation for the translation. The edition I first began working with didn't include it, and it was only when I was proofing certain unclear items against the other edition that I realized this one major difference. As a work of emotional expression and fiction, it fills in some of the gaps in our speculations about how French society of the time might have viewed and understood Grandjean.

This installment concludes the legal document, with a verdict that is surprising in some ways and that opens as many questions as it answers. The theme throughout this whole series has been to recognize how very different historic attitudes toward non-normative gender and sexuality could  be from what we might imagine. The primary sources for history sometimes have a way of upending our expectations  in that way.


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