What Have Historians Been Arguing About... gender and sexuality

Teaching History feature

By Gabrielle Storey, published 7th July 2023

Although they overlap, gender and sexuality are each a distinctive field of historical research. Researching in these fields involves cross-disciplinary work and a range of media and methods. One of the greatest challenges is that of terminology: how to refer to the gender identity or sexuality of a subject in the past, given that modern terminology is anachronistic. Words used to discuss and categorise gender and sexuality in the premodern world varied by time and place, and there is no easy catch-all term. Nonetheless, many historians have re-appropriated the word ‘queer’, and use ‘queer history’ for discussion of all that is non-normative in an historical sense. This remains an ongoing and lively area of discussion for historians of sexuality and gender... 

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