Gender Identity and Sexuality in the Medieval World

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1m Jun 9, 2021

In this episode Medievalists Dr. Amy Kaufmann and Dr. Paul Sturtevant explore gender identity and sexuality in the Middle Ages.

Dr. Sturtevant begins the talk by explaining that we need to be careful with our views on sexuality as an intrinsic identity when it comes to viewing medieval peoples. No one described themselves for example as heterosexual.

He then goes on to point out that even though we can't apply these labels perfectly on the Medieval world we have still have an abundance of evidence for men and women who were homosexual, bisexual, homoromantic, biromantic, and etc. He discusses studies done on monks and nuns involving these concepts while also pointing out how a Caliph even had a harem of men and that it was accepted.

He dives into gender expression in the Medieval world and how it was different and that our modern and often polarized views on identity are radically different from the Medieval peoples that we love to study.

From emotional knights to Saints that would shock our modern imagination we see a complicated history become even more complicated and even more beautiful.

Dr. Kaufmann follows up by making excellent points on Sexuality and what was accepted and what wasn't throughout Antiquity and the Medieval Eras and how this constantly changed at the whims of society.

She explains the complexity of gender and sexuality norms for men and women and how they varied and differed for instance how sex between men were viewed V. how sex between women were viewed.

She points out that even in all of its complexity you begin to see patterns of human identity and behavior that once found you can trace it up and naturally into our very world today.

To support these awesome scholars please check out the links below and buy a copy of their book!

To buy a copy go here: https://utorontopress.com/ca/the-devil-x2019-s-historians-2

Dr. Paul Sturtevant.

Website: www.paulsturtevant.com

Academia: https://si.academia.edu/PaulSturtevant

His first book "The Middle Ages in Popular Imagination: Memory, Film, and Medievalism", which lays out a study he did of what people "know" about the Middle Ages, and how they learn about it (especially through consuming pop culture).

The "Race, Racism and the Middle Ages" series at The Public Medievalist: https://www.publicmedievalist.com/race-racism-middle-ages-toc/

Check out The Public Medievalist here: https://www.publicmedievalist.com

Dr. Amy Kaufman

Website: https://www.amyskaufman.com/

The Devils Historians Website: https://www.devilshistorians.com/

An article she did involving ISIS, Terrorism and History.

Academia: https://independent.academia.edu/KaufmanAmy

About Make History Matter

The focus of this channel is history plain and simple and all of the facts and theories that come with it.


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