Queer medievalists deal with four major methodological questions: historical contextualization and nomenclature; the actuality of embodied erotic experience; the elision or erasure of female same-sex eroticism; and the periodization of history and the purpose of its study. Two recent works of queer medievalism explore and apply these methodologies: Glenn Burger and Steven F. Kruger, Queering the Middle Ages, and Karma Lochrie, Heterosyncrasies: Female Sexuality When Normal Wasn't. The contributors to Burger and Kruger's volume examine both medieval visual and verbal texts and also apply medievalism as an excluded middle that uncovers aspects of queer eroticism in the postmodern moment and questions periodization. Lochrie detaches the heteronormative assumptions of medieval scholars from literary and historical texts representing diverse female sexualities. The reviewer argues that queer medievalism attends to unexplored complexities of nonnormative sexuality in history but also may obscure the recovery of same-sex eroticism in the Middle Ages.
Graham N. Drake; Queer Medieval: Uncovering the Past. GLQ 1 October 2008; 14 (4): 639–658. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-2008-011
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