Jessica Farrell-Jobst

BA Honours (University of Toronto), MA (Department of History, University of Toronto)


Contact Details

Thesis Title: Women Printers in the Early Modern German Book Trade: The Case for Nuremberg
Supervisor: Professor Andrew Pettegree


Thesis Research

My thesis examines the multifaceted roles in which women participated in the early modern book trade. I have chosen to investigate the physical production side of the book trade in order to elucidate the more invisible roles of the craft. Whereas there are well-researched female authors, translators and patrons, women in the more manufacturing roles are largely ignored.  Women’s invisibility in the workplace comes from both their ambiguity in the legal systems and their allocation to the private sphere. However the printing trade offers a unique opportunity for study as it develops after and outside the medieval guild system. As a new trade, the book world offered interesting potential for women’s work.   

My current study focuses on the German book trade and its operations in the imperial city of Nuremburg. My research seeks to determine the particularities of the city’s print crafts with special attention to how the construction of gender affects the lives of women in the trade.  I intend to question how restriction on gender affected the lives and operations of women who entered the printing industries and how individuals would circumnavigate these social barriers. Furthermore, what advantages or disadvantages did Nuremburg’s printing women experience compared to their counterparts in relative municipalities in Germany?

I anticipate my work can contribute to a larger conversation on women in the international book trade by commenting on the similarities and differences women across Europe faced in entering the trade.   


Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) 2015/16
St Leonard’s College Scholarship
St Andrews Renaissance Postgraduate Research Studentship