Episode 2: Cloistered Queers

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By Leigh Pfeffer. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode, your hosts Gretchen and Leigh continue to examine the overlooked and underappreciated queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies in the unexplored corners of history by traveling to the cloisters of Medieval Europe. They’ll uncover unique views of sex and sexuality that made the practice of ‘brother making’ possible both within and outside the monastic community but also made it hard for medieval theologians to understand sex between women. Come slake your thirst for queer poems and love letters because guess what? There are lots of monks and nuns with a strong desire for “special friendship” with each other. Notables include: Alcuin, Two Bavarian Nuns, St. Anselm of Canterbury, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Baudri of Bourgeuil, Aelred of Rievaulx, Benedetta Carlini, and many more!

Outline0:00 – Introduction1:31 – Word of the Week: Adelphopoiesis and Affrerement6:30 – What do you mean they’re not straight? 6:40 – Social Context: Medieval Views of Sex & Sodomy 10:15 – Social Context: Sex Between Women in the Middle Ages 26:00 – Social Context: Escaping Heteronormativity through Monastacism 33:35 – Homoeroticism Among Female Mystics40:40 – The Lives and Love Letters/Poems of Gay Monks and Lesbian Nuns 1:10:00-1:19:21 – CONTENT WARNING for discussions of sexual violence1:23:17 – How gay were they?1:26:40 – Where to find us online

Special Links: Humon's Tumblr comic about monastic views of sex and sexuality

Find our full list sources and bonus content at www.historyisgaypodcast.com. Get at us on twitter @historyisgaypod, tumblr at historyisgaypodcast, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts! Don't forget to rate and review so more folks can see the show!

38 episodes