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19 July, 2013

Emery Reviews Stahuljak, Pornographic Archaeology

Elizabeth Emery recently reviewed Zrinka Stahuljak's Pornographic Archaeology: Medicine, Medievalism, and the Invention of the French Nation. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013:

Sexuality (and particularly medieval sexuality) so thoroughly preoccupied nineteenth-century French scholars, doctors, and policy makers that many of the well-known public health debates of the time -- about consanguinity, prostitution, communicable diseases, racial mixing, homosexuality, degeneration, and depopulation -- were grounded in beliefs about medieval mores.  Furthermore, Zrinka Stahuljak argues, the historical and medical representations of medieval sexuality and genealogy disseminated by such thinkers had a profound effect in the most unlikely of places: library organization, the Lachmannian stemma codicum, and newlywed bedrooms (promoted as bastions of “courtly love”). READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE.