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In the words of the sage, "You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss..." But that's never been true in western culture. A kiss is never "just" a kiss. And all the various meanings that kissing can have create what we might think of as "Schroedinger's intimacy" where observers decide whether a kiss is a sign of erotic intimacy based on their assumptions about the relationship of the people involved.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 25b - Interview with Vanda - (no transcript available)

(Originally aired 2018/08/11 - listen here)

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

In this episode we talk about

  • The Juliana series and how it follows queer history across the latter half of the 20th century

Publications mentioned:

(Originally Aired 2018/08/18 - listen here)

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

In this episode Darlene Vendegna, voracious reader and energentic booster of lesbian fiction, recommends some favorite queer historical novels:

The dividing line between women's same-sex friendships and romantic relationshps can be fuzzy--and distinguishing them on the basis of often scanty documentary evidence is difficult indeed. This article looks at the structure and rhetoric of female friendship in the middle ages and how some specific friendships are reflected in the correspondence of Saint Hildegard of Bingen.

This book chapter very conveniently lays out the problem of the historical novelist: given a general life story that is compatible with--but not prescriptive of--lesbian experience, how do we fill in the more detailed social context that establishes both the plausibility of our proposed story and how our characters would experience it on a day to day basis? Not that this is what Hitchcock is trying to do. After all, historians are not supposed to be looking to prove theories about specific individuals, but to determine what is actually knowable about them.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 25a - On the Shelf for August 2018 - Transcript

(Originally aired 2018/08/04 - listen here)

Welcome to On the Shelf for August 2018.

It’s been an entire year of the weekly schedule for the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast. For our first year, we were on a once a month schedule, and for our second year we’ve posted every week. But never fear, we aren’t increasing the frequency again for the third year!

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 24d - Women and Same-Sex Marriage in Western History - transcript

(Originally aired 2018/07/28 - listen here)

One of the themes mentioned by several authors in the collection The Lesbian Premodern was that social understandings of gender/sexuality in Western culture behave in cyclic ways, not as a linear evolutoin of understanding and expression. Lanser's article here looks at one of those cycles: the association of female homoerotic discourse, feminist philosophy, and woman-centered socializing. Understanding cycles such as these can be critical to grounding fiction in a particular time and place.

The unfortunate fact is that one of the best sources of detailed information on pre-modern same-sex eroticism comes from legal records when those relationships came under scrutiny either by religious or secular authorities. This not only means that those case histories often are accompanied by tragic fates or at least unhappy ends, but it means that we can get an image of the participants as viewing their own experiences negatively.

Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 24c - Book Appreciation with Justine Saracen - No transcript is available at this time

(Originally aired 2018/07/21 - listen here)

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

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