HIST 305

Women and Gender in Pre-Modern Europe

This course examines the construction of gender in European contexts from Late Antiquity through the medieval and early modern period, addressing historical continuity and change in definitions of feminities and masculinities, as well as the development of related ideas about marriage, family, and sexuality. Students gain an understanding of how gender intersected with social, economic, political, educational, and religious structures in premodern Europe, and and consider the merits of various historical approaches to gender over the past several decades. Special topics to be considered include the relationship between gender, sanctity, and sexuality in premodern Christianity, the development of western marriage models, courtly love and its paradoxes, gender non-conformity, and challenges to traditional gender roles in Renaissance humanists and Protestant reformers.