Erotic Medievalisms : Medieval Pleasures Empowering Marginalized People book cover
1st Edition

Erotic Medievalisms
Medieval Pleasures Empowering Marginalized People

  • Available for pre-order on January 10, 2023. Item will ship after January 31, 2023
ISBN 9781032232058
January 31, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
208 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Erotic medievalisms expose modern apparatuses of oppression, reclaim histories for marginalized people, and promote more inclusive representations in popular culture. Modern representations of the Middle Ages—including Santiago García and David Rubín’s graphic novel, Beowulf; Lil Nas X’s music video for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name);" Patience Agbabi’s retelling of Chaucer’s The Miller’s Tale, entitled "The Kiss;" and some BDSM (Bondage and Discipline, Dominance and Submission, Sadism and Masochism) practices—challenge pervasive power structures that privilege heterosexual male dominance commonly associated with medieval origins in popular culture. This comparative study between medieval and modern texts foregrounds the sexual gratification of people who are typically excluded from representations of the Middle Ages, specifically women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Erotic displays of marginalized people in medieval contexts disrupt prevalent forms of oppression rooted in institutions that censor human experiences and they direct sexual desires towards social justice.

Table of Contents


  1. Foreplay: Eroticizing the Middle Ages
  2. Grendel’s Cumming!: (Homoerotic) Horror in García and Rubín’s Beowulf
  3. Ass-ention of the Black Power Bottom in Lil Nas X’s "Montero"
  4. The Cunning Linguist of Agbabi’s "The Kiss"
  5. BDSMedievalisms: Past, Power, Pain/Pleasure
  6. Walk of Shame: The Conservative Assault on Sexual Liberties


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Elan Justice Pavlinich is a Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of English at Wabash College where he teaches medieval and early modern literatures and medievalisms. His publications include cognitive approaches to the Old English Boethius and feminist approaches to Disney’s medievalisms.