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Writing Queer Characters from History with Cheryl Morgan
January 4, 2020 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am PST
These days we often hear people complain that the inclusion of queer people in historical fiction is “unrealistic.” As much fantasy fiction is set in versions of the past, the same charge gets leveled at it.
Of course, such a claim is ridiculous. We can trace the existence of queer people back to Sumer and the early days of human civilization. We can also find them in tribal cultures all around the world. However, modern gender and sexual categories do not map neatly on the ancient world. Terms such “homosexual” and “transgender” are modern inventions and aren’t necessarily useful to understand how ancient queer people would have understood themselves.
This class will present some real stories of queer people from the past, and show how a modern understanding of gender and sexuality can be used to help craft believable (and yes, realistic) queer characters in historical fiction. It will also provide examples, from Mary Renault to Marlon James, of authors who have used historical research to bring queer people from the past to life.
Join Cheryl Morgan for a workshop on writing queer characters from history. Limited enrollment (15); scholarships available.
See class details here for more information and to enroll.