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Profs & Pints: Saints and Harlots
The Bier Baron Tavern
Washington, DC
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Profs & Pints: Saints and Harlots
Profs and Pints presents: "Saints and Harlots," a look at women and sexuality in premodern Europe, with Amy Leonard, associate professor of history at Georgetown University and author of Nails in the Wall: Catholic Nuns in Reformation Germany.

The Madonna-Whore complex is often used to describe the limited options for women in the premodern Western world. One was either the perfect, saintly, subservient wife/nun or the witchy, sexualized, threatening harridan. History allows for more variation than that, however, and women played multiple sexual roles, though the saint-sinner dichotomy was a powerful model.

Come hear Professor Amy Leonard of Georgetown, a favorite of many students there, discuss women and sexuality in medieval and early modern Europe. Shell focus especially on nuns and prostitutes, to show their social utility, religious justifications, and changing role in culture. The two subsets of the population were often conflated, in large part because of their sexualized identity  either shunning sex or wallowing in it  and because desires to control or reform these groups crossed religious, geographical, political, and chronological boundaries.

Professor Leonard will talk about how premodern Europe generally accepted the one-sex model, where the female body considered just a misformed, inverted man whose uterus was a uniquely female organ that roamed around her body, desiring sex and causing hysteria.  Youll learn how prostitution was legal before the 16th century, and how the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages owned numerous brothels and often used taxes on prostitutes to support nuns in their convents. And youll hear the tales of figures such Veronica Franco, subject of the movie Dangerous Beauty, a famous courtesan in 16th century Venice who secured funding for Venetian wars by sleeping with the king of France. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, save $2 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)


The Bier Baron Tavern (View)
1523 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States


Education > Classes
Other > Political
Other > Spiritual

Minimum Age: 18
Kid Friendly: No
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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