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This concludes the summary of Cadden's book with a discussion of how medieval medical and theological writings dealt with the apparent contradiction of valorizing sexual abstinence while justifying sexual desire as a healthy response to the balance of bodily humors. The variety of approaches--including a recognition of different reasons for abstinence--can be attributed both to the need to justify these conflicting principles and to a recognition that human situations were diverse and might need to be addressed by different approaches to health.

I sometimes feel a twinge of guilt when I skip over chapters of books, or articles in collections, with the commen "not relevant to the Lesbian Historic Motif Project." I shouldn't feel that way. The entire project is an exercise in highly subjective filtering of content for what interests me personally. Sometimes chapters or articles aren't relevant to the Project but I find them fascinating enough to write them up anyway. And yet, I twinge.

The blog goes on, even when I'm posting it from an airport boarding lounge. This week will be the Sirens conference on women in fantasy literature. Next week will be a family get-together for my father's 90th birthday. So this past weekend I was scrambling to make sure that everything was set up for the blog and podcast for the next several weeks so I can pretend to be on an actual "vacation".

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 40c - Book Appreciation with Heather Rose Jones - transcript

(Originally aired 2019/11/16 - listen here)

A transcript is pending.

Show Notes and Links

In this episode we talk about:

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 40b - Interview with Heather Rose Jones - transcript pending

(Originally aired 2019/11/09 - listen here)

Transcript pending.

Show Notes and Links

In this episode we talk about:

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 40a - On the Shelf for November 2019 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2019/11/02 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for November 2019.

In every era, the subjects tackled in academic debate are neither random nor comprehensive. They follow the interests and anxieties of the times. So it's not surprising to find that medieval writers applied their analytic and debating skills to a slightly different set of questions that the classical authors whose work they leaned on. One of the aspects that Cadden emphasizes (and that Laqueur downplayed) was the diverse and contradictory nature of medieval arguments and conclusions around sex.

Cadden  takes a deep dive into the details of some sample texts that illustrate the range of thought on the topic of sex differences--as well as illustrating their internal incoherence at times.

Although I’m generally organizing this “classics of the history of gender and sexuality” series on a thematic basis, I moved this one out of order for logistical reasons (It’s the only one I have in pdf and I wanted get it done before I moved the other current 40+ article pdfs onto my iPad, so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.)

In this chapter, Cadden surveys the classical medical and philosophical writers who tackled the questions of the meanings of sex difference and the relationship of male and female (as well as mascuine and feminine). Different schools of thought are examined via a selection of key writers, discussing their basic principles and influences.

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