MO3027 Women and Men in Europe, 1500-1800

Dr Bridget Heal (St John's House, room 12)

2017-18: Dr Erin Maglaque

Credits 30
Availability Semester 2, 2017-18
Class Hour TBC
Description What were relations between women and men like during the early modern period? This module will assess the impact of major intellectual and social movements - the Renaissance, the Reformation and the Scientific Revolution - on legal, scientific and philosophical ideas about women. It will also examine women's day-to-day experiences, focusing on themes such as marriage and the family, sexuality and the body, work and religion. It will explore notions of masculinity and femininity, considering how these were constructed and how their meanings have changed over time.

Basic Reading

Hufton, O., The Prospect Before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, I: 1500-1800 (1995)
Wiesner, M., Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, 2nd edition (2000)
Chojnacka, M. and Wiesner, M. ed., Ages of Woman, Ages of Man: Sources in European Social History, 1400-1750 (2002)


Course Structure

  1. Introduction
  2. Marriage, motherhood and the household
  3. Concepts of manhood
  4. Medicine and the body
  5. Gender and politics
  6. Women and religious change (Protestantism)
  7. Women and religious change (Catholicism)
  8. Women’s work
  9. Literacy, education and culture
  10. Gender history and theory
  11. Overview
Assessment 60% examination - 3-hour paper
40% coursework

Learning Outcomes

Restrictions None