How we talk about sex and women's bodies
Fern Riddell, Kate Lister and Robin Mitchell join Matthew Sweet to discuss their research on slang, ideas about prudishness, racialised bodies and the so-called Hottentot Venus.
Fern Riddell, Kate Lister and Robin Mitchell discuss their research with Matthew Sweet.
Kate Lister started tweeting as Whores of Yore in 2015 to kick off a conversation about how we talk about sex. She has just published A Curious History of Sex which looks at everything from slang through the ages to medieval impotence tests, the relevance of oysters, bicycling and the tart card.
Robin Mitchell's new book is called Venus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France. In it she traces visual and literary representations of 3 black women: Sarah Baartmann, popularly known as the Hottentot Venus; Ourika, a young Senegalese girl and Jeanne Duval, long-time lover of the poet Charles Baudelaire.
Fern Riddell's books include The Victorian Guide to Sex and Sex: A Brief History. She hosts the podcast series #NotWhatYouThought and is a historian on the New Generation Thinker scheme which aims to put academic research on the radio. It's a partnership between BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. You can find her talking about depictions of Eroticism in a Free Thinking conversation about The Piano and Love https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b6t06b and exploring the life of the singer and suffragette Kitty Marion in a Sunday Feature https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04n2zcp
An exhibition called With Love opens at the National Archives in Kew displaying letters spanning 500 years, which explore intimate expressions of love. You can hear archivist Vicky Iglikowski-Broad talking on a Free Thinking programme called Being Human: Love Stories https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b6hk
Anne McElvoy explores who and why we love with philosopher Laura Mucha, poet and novelist Lavinia Greenlaw, novelist Elanor Dymott and poet Andrew McMillan.
Producer: Luke Mulhall