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Episode 4: Joan of Arc: Gendering the Maid of Orlean

Hi everyone, welcome back to the Show Notes!

Let’s dig right in, shall we?

The Sex and the Sacred episode began with a recounting of Joan of Arc’s final moments. While I dramatized the moment for you a little, the sequence of events is quite true. A number of movies have depicted Joan’s final request and fiery death; if you were taken by her tragic end, you might want to check them out. Here’s a list of the most popular Joan films:

Don’t forget that, while these are all fantastic movies, they are all artistic retellings; don’t forget to fact check!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the big pop culture references out of the way, we can move into the meat of today’s episode.

The Hundred Years War raged between France and England for well over a full century. Separated by two brief truces, the fighting continued from 1337-1453. Both France and English rulers had claims to the French throne, and the war was fueled by these competing claims. If you are interested in the dynastic conflict that spurred the war, check out the Wikipedia page here (Yes, you shouldn’t cite Wikipedia in an academic paper, but the site is infinitely better regulated nowadays, and you can always check out the bibliographies at the end of each article for the academic sources!).

If you’re really interested in learning more about the Hundred Years War, you can also check out these books below:

  1. Jonathan Sumption, The Hundred Years War, in four volumes

  2. Anne Curry, The Hundred Years War

  3. Andrew Villalon and Donald Kagay, The Hundred Years War: A Wider Focus, in A History of Warfare, Volume 25

Okay, let’s move on to Joan of Arc.

The podcast episode offers a brief biography of the famous heroine; while I kept the details to a minimum there, I can give you a host of biographical information here! I’ll start with the Encyclopedia Britannica article and the piece, both of which offer a great introduction to Joan’s life and mission. For more detailed biographies of the Maid of Orlean (and the official report from Joan’s trial), check out these works below:

Now that we know the historical details of Joan’s life, we can get into the discussion of religion, gender, and gender performance in the middle ages. As always, the SatS episode barely scratches the surface of the scholarly content that is available. There is SO much fantastic research emerging from the field of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and I want YOU to go find it! However, I’ll give you a starting place for your future research. Check out these books, chapters, and articles; it will help you get started! Some of these focus on Joan specifically; others talk about the way she fit into the gendered system of the middle ages. I encourage you to read as many of these as you can, and to leave a comment with your thoughts!

That’s about it for today’s Show Notes! Don’t forget to drop a comment with your feedback, and any future episodes you want to see next time on the podcast!



Barstow, Anne Llewellyn. 1986. Joan of Arc: Heretic, Mystic, Shaman. Studies in Women and Religion.v. 17. Lewiston, N.Y.: E. Mellen Press.

Biography. n.d. Joan Of Arc: Savior Of France | Full Documentary | Biography. Accessed July 8, 2021.

Crane, Susan. 2002. The Performance of Self: Ritual, Clothing, and Identity During the Hundred Years War. Philadelphia, UNITED STATES: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Dekker, Rudolf, and Lotte van de Pol. 1989. The Tradition of Female Transvestism in Early Modern Europe. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Editors, Biography com. n.d. “Joan of Arc.” Biography. Accessed July 8, 2021.

Feinberg, Leslie. 1996. Transgender Warriors. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Freeman, James A. 2008. “Joan of Arc: Soldier, Saint, Symbol—of What?” The Journal of Popular Culture 41 (4): 601–34.

Guðmundsdóttir, Arnfríður. 2016. “Joan as Jesus: A Feminist Theological Analysis of Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc.” Dialog 55 (4): 372–78.

“Joan of Arc | Biography, Death, Accomplishments, & Facts.” n.d. Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed July 8, 2021.

Study of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. n.d. Gender Identity and Sexuality in the Medieval World. Accessed July 8, 2021.

Taylor, Larissa Juliet. 2012a. “Joan of Arc, the Church, and the Papacy, 1429-1920.” The Catholic Historical Review 98 (2): 217–40.

“Title Page.” 1956. Trial of Joan of Arc: Being the Verbatim Report of the Proceedings from the Orleans Manuscript 1: 1–4.

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