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A six-year project in two stages, conceived by Prof. Carla Rossi, and funded for three years (2021-2023) by the Stiftung für wissenschaftliche Forschung an der Universität Zürich, and (2022-2026) by the Società Filologica Internazionale RECEPTIO

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The initial findings in this particular field of study are compiled in a specialized volume of the Theory and Criticism of Literature & Arts journal, scheduled for publication in September 2023. For a comprehensive overview of the project, we encourage you to review the accompanying document (see below), which serves as the conceptual foundation for the forthcoming article in our journal's upcoming issue.

It is important to address that, within the context of an ongoing campaign initiated by a certain Peter Kidd against our centre, unfounded allegations of 'bogus' nature or 'plagiarism' have been leveled against this project. However, a discerning individual, equipped with sound judgment and knowledge, will readily observe, upon perusing the provided presentation, the baseless nature of Mr. Kidd's accusations and the misguided involvement of certain parties, including select circles at the University of Zurich. By aligning themselves with Mr. Kidd, they are acting in bad faith and becoming complicit in the actions of art dealers who engage in the deplorable practice of biblioclastic activities, a matter that we have already brought to the attention of the TPC. They are also becoming accomplices to legally punishable actions (which we have reported to British and Italian authorities). It is essential to highlight the farcical nature of the so-called "ReceptioGate" allegations set forth by these individuals.

Selected Bibliography

Caroline W. Bynum, The Resurrection of the Body in Western Christianity, 200 –1336 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995)

Peter Biller, “Introduction: John of Naples, Quodlibets and Medieval Theological Concern with the Body,” in Medieval Theology and the Natural Body, ed. Peter Biller and A. J. Minnis (Woodbridge: York Medieval Press, 1997), 3–12; Idem, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000);

Joseph Ziegler, “‘Ut dicunt medici’. Medical Knowledge and Theological Debate in the Second Half of the Thirteenth Century,” in Bulletin of the History of Medicine 1999 Summer; 73(2): 208-237; 

See also Maaike van der Lugt, Les théories médiévales de la génération extraordinaire (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2004) and Chiara Crisciani, “Aspetti del dibattito sull’Umido radicale nella cultura del tardo Medioevo (secoli XIII–XV),” in Actes de la II trobada internacional d’estudis sobre Arnau de Vilanova, ed. Josep Perarnau (Barcelona: Institut d’estudis catalans, 2005), 333–80

Other interesting texts for research, in chronological order:

Schwarz, Arturo, “Androgyny and Visual Artists.” Leonardo 1980, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Winter, 1980), pp. 57-62;

Guynn, Noah D, Allegory and Sexual Ethics in the High Middle Ages. New York: Palgrave Mcmillan, 2007;

Schachter Marc D, Voluntary Servitude and the Erotics of Friendship: From Classical Antiquity to Early Modern France. Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008;

Bromberg, Sarah. “Gendered and Ungendered Readings of the Rothschild Canticles.” Different Visions: A Journal of New Perspectives on Medieval Art; Issue 1, September 2008, pp. 1-26;

Rolker, Christof. “Der Hermaphrodit und seine Frau. Körper, Sexualität und Geschlecht im Spätmittelalter.” Historische Zeitschrift 297 (2013), pp. 593–620;

Whittington, Karl. “Medieval.” Transgender Studies Quarterly, 1 (2014), 1-2, pp. 125-129;

Santos, Ana Lúcia. “Beyond Binarism? Intersex as an Epistemological and Political Challenge.” RCCS Annual Review, 6, October 2014, pp. 123-140; Id.  “The two laws and the three sexes: ambiguous bodies in canon law and Roman law (12th to 16th centuries).” Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Kanonistische Abteilung, 100 (2014), 1, pp. 178-222;

DeVun, Leah. “Heavenly hermaphrodites: sexual difference at the beginning and end of time.” Postmedieval 9, (2018), pp. 132–146.


Further studies and essays, some freely accessible online (or in our research centre library and available on site)

Alcohol, Sex and Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (Early Modern History Society and Culture), A. Lynn Martin New York: Palgrave

Byzantine Intersectionality, Sexuality, Gender, and Race in the Middle Ages, R. Betancourt, Princeton University Press 2020
Eastern Orthodoxy & Sexual Diversity, Interim Report of the British Council Bridging Voices Consortium of Exeter University & Fordham University, New York on “Contemporary Eastern Orthodox Identity and the Challenges of Pluralism and Sexual Diversity in a Secular Age”, B. Gallaher & G. Tucker 

Eine Frau war dieser Mann: Die Geschichte der Hildegund von Schönau, A. Liebers

Female Crucifix, The Images of St. Wilgefortis Since the Middle Ages, I. E. Friesen 

Fragmentation and Redemption Essays on Gender and the Human Body in Medieval Religion, C. W. Bynum (Bibl. del centro)

Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe New Perspectives, L. M. Bitel, F. Lifshitz 

Gender essentialism and orthodoxy, B. E. Rich 

Gender, Otherness, and Culture in Medieval and Early Modern Art, C. A. Bradbury, M. Moseley-Christian (Bibl. del centro) 

L'image à la fin du Moyen Age, par Jean Wirth, Le Cerf, 2011

Monsters, Gender and Sexuality in Medieval English Literature, D. M. Oswald

Queer Love in the Middle Ages, A. Kłosowska 

Queering the Middle, S.F. Kruger (Bibl. del centro)

Rewriting Gender: Yde et Olive and Ovidian Myth, N. Vine Durling 

Sexuality and Its Queer Discontents in Middle English Literature (The New Middle Ages). T. Pugh 

Trans and Genderqueer Subjects in Medieval Hagiography, B. Gutt, A. Spencer-Hall 

Women and Gender in Medieval Europe An Encyclopedia, M. C. Schaus 



[1] Cfr Ch. Rolker   AND

[2] Joan Cadden is one of the early historians who has reflected upon and encouraged reflection upon the natural characteristics of men and women, as well as the construction of gender in medieval debates on physiology, procreation, sexual relationships, and pleasure.

[3] See Michel Zink, "Bel-Accueil le travesti: from Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun's Roman de la Rose to Lucidor by Hugo von Hofmannsthal," in Littérature, Year 1982, 47, pp. 31-40.


See also

C. Rossi, Miniatrici di Dio e del Demonio, il contributo femminile alla miniatura europea, cit.

C. Rossi, La "Vulva Christi", dai miniaturisti medievali l'origine e l'evoluzione del motivo della mandorla, in About Art, 21 /02/2021:

C. Rossi, Salvator Mundi : il Cristo androgino di Leonardo, in About Art, 3/05/2020,




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