WOMEN AND GENDER IN EUROPEAN HISTORY, 1500-1800
This course explores the history of women and gender relations in European society and culture from the Protestant Reformation and the opening out to the New World through the French Revolution. Through paired readings of scholarly articles, students will develop their skill in identifying, analyzing, comparing, and producing historical arguments with particular attention to questions of gender. Through lectures, discussions, and readings, we will pursue the following questions:
- How did the gender systems of early modern societies shape women’s lives?
- What possibilities were open to early modern women and how did they respond to them?
- How important was gender to the ways in which early modern women thought and wrote about their lives and about the issues of the day?
- How did gender intersect with other factors, such as class or status, religious or national identity, age, sexuality, or marital status, and the particular circumstances of time, place, and culture in shaping individual women’s lives?
- How did the great events of the period shape women’s lives? How did women contribute to these events?