Uncovering Christine & Judith in July

Happy July, all! Just a quick update today to say that I’ve finished up with some key excerpts from Christine de Pisan’s oeuvre and they’re leaving me feeling stronger in my convictions that my thesis topic is a worthy one. This likely stems from feeling closer to Christine through spending time with writings sourced from different points in her life. More than other authors I’ve studied, Christine is a person of periods. She arrived at the discovery of her love for learning relatively late in life, after going through childhood, adolescence, and a decade of happy marriage and childrearing. She describes all of this and more in one of her first long-form pieces, a sort of memoir called L’Avision Christine, or “Christine’s Vision.” I’m cheerfully adding memoir to the increasingly long list of points of intersection between Christine’s life and that of a modern-day queer writer (think David Sedaris or Alexander Chee and you’ll hopefully see what I mean.)

June has, admittedly, been a slow reading month for me. I relocated, started a new job, and did heaps of introspection on the subject of what it means to be my queer self in 2018. But I have big plans for the month of July, which I am christening the Month of Judith as June was the Month of Jonathan (yes, I may have been spending valuable reading time binge-watching the reboot of “Queer Eye.”) I’ll begin my acquaintance with Judith by reading from Gender Trouble, followed by Bodies That Matter. I realize that Butler’s swath of work is vast, and that there are writings of hers more pertinent to my topic. But, just as Christine must do in her Cité des Dames (which, by the way, may be a darker metaphor for medieval Europe’s particular brand of capitalist heteropatriarchy than I first thought) I need to start with a strong foundation and work my way up.

Onward to July–to deepening, widening, and sharing my nerdy synthesized interests!