IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 1126: The Childless Queen, II

Wednesday 11 July 2012, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Medieval Studies, Seattle University
Organiser:Theresa Earenfight, Department of History, Seattle University
Moderator/Chair:Kristen Geaman, Department of History, University of Southern California
Paper 1126-aDynastic Failure?: Childless Queens and the 'Rules' Governing Dynastic Succession in Late Medieval Europe
(Language: English)
Theresa Earenfight, Department of History, Seattle University
Index terms: Gender Studies, Medicine, Sexuality, Women's Studies
Paper 1126-bYoung Royal Women and Conception in 12th and 13th-Century France and England
(Language: English)
Fiona Harris-Stoertz, Department of History, Trent University, Ontario
Index terms: Gender Studies, Medicine, Sexuality, Women's Studies
Paper 1126-cSainted or Sent Away: The Childless Queens Theutberga, Cunigunde, and Edith
(Language: English)
Anita Obermeier, Department of English Language & Literature, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
Index terms: Gender Studies, Medicine, Women's Studies
Abstract

Infertility and childlessness had a greater impact on queens than most other women in the Middle Ages. There were no official rules for a queen to follow when it came to having sex in the hopes of producing an heir. The marital debt of sexual relations was understood as a cultural imperative in a patriarchal society, transmitted orally from mother to daughter. But nature did not always cooperate even when the married couple was entirely willing. The papers in this session examine how kings and queens responded to and coped with not having a viable pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse.