Medieval Sex for SEXPO 2023

Recommended titles for Sexpo event 2023

Updated June 2, 2023
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Before the closet : same-sex love from Beowulf to Angels in America
Frantzen, Allen J.
Allen J. Frantzen challenges the long accepted view that the early Middle Ages tolerated and even fostered same-sex relations and that intolerance of homosexuality developed only late in the medieval period. Frantzen shows that in early medieval Europe, the Church did not tolerate same-sex acts, in...
Common women : prostitution and sexuality in Medieval England
Karras, Ruth Mazo
"Common women" in medieval England were prostitutes, whose distinguishing feature was not that they took money for sex but that they belonged to all men in common. Common Women: Prostitution and Sexuality in Medieval England tells the stories of these women's lives: their entrance into the trade...
A curious history of sex
Lister, Kate
This is not a comprehensive study of every sexual quirk, kink and ritual across all cultures throughout time, as that would entail writing an encyclopaedia. Rather, this is a drop in the ocean, a paddle in the shallow end of sex history, but I hope you will get pleasantly wet nonetheless. ...
A history of the wife
Yalom, Marilyn.
A woman coming of age today has good reason to wonder what marriage will mean to her. Certainly, it will no longer imply that her husband will provide for her, as an ability to earn a living is commonly expected of both men and women. Also, marriage will no longer offer a woman a unique gateway...
Marriage, sex and civic culture in late medieval London
McSheffrey, Shannon.
Using extensive evidence from archival documents from both the ecclesiastical court system and the records of city and royal government, as well as advice manuals, chronicles, moral tales, and liturgical texts, McSheffrey examines how marital and sexual relationships were woven into the fabric of...
The origins of sex : a history of the first sexual revolution
Dabhoiwala, Faramerz.
A man admits that, when drunk, he tried to have sex with an eighteen-year-old girl; she is arrested and denies they had intercourse, but finally begs God's forgiveness. Then she is publicly hanged alongside her attacker. These events took place in 1644, in Boston, where today they would be viewed...
Same-sex sexuality in later medieval English culture
Linkinen, Tom
This volume investigates the state of same-sex relations in later medieval England, drawing on a remarkably rich array of primary sources from the period that include legal documents, artworks, theological treatises, and poetry. Tom Linkinen uses those sources to build a framework of medieval...
Same-sex unions in premodern Europe
Boswell, John
Both highly praised and intensely controversial, this brilliant book produces dramatic evidence that at one time the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches not only sanctioned unions between partners of the same sex, but sanctified them--in ceremonies strikingly similar to heterosexual marriage...
Sex and gender in medieval and Renaissance texts : the Latin tradition
Miller, Paul Allen
This collection reclaims a vast body of long-neglected Latin texts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and examines how they represent the feminine and the female body. The authors explore the ideological values explicitly encoded by the feminine in these texts, other, less articulated values...
Sex Before Sex : Figuring the Act in Early Modern England
Bromley, James M.
What is sex exactly? Does everyone agree on a definition? And does that definition hold when considering literary production in other times and places? Sex before Sex makes clear that we cannot simply transfer our contemporary notions of what constitutes a sex act into the...
Thinking sex with the early moderns
Traub, Valerie
What do we know about early modern sex, and how do we know it? How, when, and why does sex become history? In Thinking Sex with the Early Moderns, Valerie Traub addresses these questions and, in doing so, reorients the ways in which historians and literary critics, feminists and queer...
The wages of sin : sex and disease, past and present
Allen, Peter L.
Near the end of the century, a new and terrifying disease arrives suddenly from a distant continent. Infecting people through sex, it storms from country to country, defying all drugs and medical knowledge. The deadly disease provokes widespread fear and recrimination; medical authorities call...

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