|History 305: Women & Gender in
Spring 2013: MWF 10:00-10:50 (Wyatt 307)
Instructor: Katherine Smith
Phone: 879-3906 (ext. 3906)
Office hours: Wyatt 142 / Tues. 11-1 & Fri. 1-2
(and other times by appointment)
Description: Although men largely dominated the public sphere in premodern Europe, women left their mark on this world in a number of ways, serving as rulers, gaining renown as saints and visionaries, and even leading armies to victory. In this class we will explore the paradoxical premodern outlook that simultaneously condemned women as the root of sinfulness and celebrated a female ideal embodied in the virtues of chastity, modesty, and passivity. We will find that some women writers, artists, and mystics challenged prevailing ideas about gender roles, while others struggled to compete in the economic and political spheres of a patriarchal world. Since the historical experience of men has also been shaped by perceptions of gender, we will engage with definitions of masculinity as well as femininity, and concern ourselves with male as well as female roles throughout the semester.
Course Objectives: All members of the class will have the opportunity to
trace the evolution of Western conceptions of gender from Late Anquitity through the sixteenth century, and consider how this heritage has shaped (and continues to influence) modern views of gender roles, sexuality, and family.
explore the ways in which scholars use gender as a category to guide scholarly inquiry, and consider how gender may be considered alongside other factors, such as religion and class, to gain a better understanding of women’s and men’s lives in the past.
read a variety of primary sources and develop their own historical voices through critical engagement with these texts in written assignments and class discussions.
practice the historian’s craft through close analysis of primary sources, engagement with modern historiography, and the completion of a substantial research project.
Texts: The required books listed below are available for purchase at the university bookstore.
History 305 Course Reader (=CR in the schedule of readings)
Jacqueline Murray, ed., Love, Marriage, and Family in the Middle Ages: A Reader (Broadview, 2001) ISBN: 1551111047
Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances, trans. Carleton W. Carroll (Penguin, 1991) ISBN: 0140445218
C.H. Talbot, ed., The Life of Christina of Markyate (Oxford World’s Classics, 2010) ISBN: 0199556059
Willard Trask, ed., Joan of Arc: In Her Own Words (Turtle Point Press, 2004) ISBN: 1885983085
Margaret L. King and Alfred Rabil, ed. and trans., Her Immaculate Hand: Selected Works By and About the Women Humanists of Quattrocento Italy (Pegasus, 2000) ISBN: 1889818275
Steven Ozment, The Burgermeister’s Daughter: Scandal in a Sixteenth-Century German Town (Harper Perennial, 1997) ISBN: 0060977213
Course Format: Classes will often begin with a brief lecture designed to give an overview of the day’s topic and clear up areas of confusion, but the bulk of class time will be devoted to discussion, in which all members of the class will be expected to participate. There are a number of ways to join the conversation in class; you might make notes of questions that come up in the course of doing that day’s reading assignment, underline a passage in one of the sources that you think we should examine more carefully, or respond to comments or questions raised by your colleagues in the class.
Requirements and Evaluation: All members of the class will be expected to attend class regularly, participate in discussions, write three reflection pieces and one formal essay; based on assigned readings, take an in-class mid-term, and carry out a final research project.
1) Participation: Students are required to attend class meetings and to keep up with all reading assignments so that they can participate in discussions and activities. Class discussion is not a spectator sport! Your participation grade will reflect not merely your physical presence in the classroom, but your level of engagement with the material.
2) Reflection Pieces: These short pieces of writing should reflect on an issue or question derived from the reading assigned for the day on which the pieces are due. Everyone will be assigned to a letter group (A-F) and your reflection pieces will be due on the days marked with this letter in the syllabus. Pick three out of your five letter-days to write reflection pieces. You should not have to spend a great deal of time on these; the point is not to produce a polished essay but allow you to reflect on some aspect of the reading. No late reflection pieces will be accepted.
3) Midterm Exam: We have a midterm scheduled for the whole class period on Friday, March 15tt. The exam will be essay format, and the entire class will work together to create a list of possible essay questions in advance of the exam. No make-up exams will be given except in the case of documented medical or family emergencies.
4) Formal Essay: This essay (~6 pages), based on primary sources and informed by secondary scholarship, will address some aspect of the relationship between gender, holiness, and sexuality in medieval Europe, and is due on Friday, Feb. 22nd. A detailed description of the assignment will be handed out in class two weeks prior to the due date.
5) Final Research Project: Topics for final projects will be chosen in consultation with the instructor during the first half of the semester. I will distribute a list of possible topics and a bibliography early in the semester to help you begin thinking about possible research directions. The final project has two components: a prospectus and annotated bibliography of at least three primary sources and five secondary sources, due on Thursday, April 25th; and a final paper of 10 pages, due on May 14th in lieu of a final exam.
Grade Breakdown: Participation: 14%
Reflection Pieces: 12% (4% each)
Midterm Exam: 17%
Short Essay: 18%
Prospectus & Bibliography: 15%
Final Paper: 24%
Grading Scale: Written assignments, exams and class participation will all be graded on a scale from A to F. Below are the numerical equivalents of each grade:
A: 93-96 A-: 90-92 B+: 87-89
B: 83-86 B-: 80-82 C+: 77-79
C: 73-76 C-: 70-72 D+: 67-69
D: 63-66 D-: 60-62 F: below 60
Attendance: Regular attendance is essential to your success in this course, and you will find I take attendance at every meeting. I understand that illness and emergencies occur in the course of a fourteen-week semester, and will not penalize you for missing up to two classes. If, however, you miss more than this generous allotment, be advised that I will deduct ½ letter grade from your participation grade for each additional absence. If you become gravely ill or have a family emergency that will take you out of class for several days, please provide me with documentation (or have the Office of Advising contact all your professors) so I can excuse these absences. Please be advised that I reserve the right to withdraw any student from the class for excessive unexcused absences, normally defined as more than 6 absences over the course of the semester.
Academic Honesty: All students are expected to abide by the guidelines concerning academic honesty outlined in the Logger (at http://www.pugetsound.edu/student-life/student-resources/student-handbook/academic-handbook/academic-integrity/) Violations of honesty in research (inventing or falsifying sources or data) or writing (borrowing the arguments or words of others without attribution), or the defacing or destruction of library materials will result in a grade of ‘0’ for the assignment in question and, at the instructor’s discretion, dismissal from the course.
Emergency Information: Please review university emergency preparedness and response procedures posted at www.pugetsound.edu/emergency/. There is a link on the university home page. Familiarize yourself with hall exit doors and the designated gathering area for your class and laboratory buildings. If building evacuation becomes necessary (e.g., earthquake), meet your instructor at the designated gathering area so she/he can account for your presence. Then wait for further instructions. Do not return to the building or classroom until advised by a university emergency response representative. If confronted by an act of violence, be prepared to make quick decisions to protect your safety. Flee the area by running away from the source of danger if you can safely do so. If this is not possible, shelter in place by securing classroom or lab doors and windows, closing blinds, and turning off room lights. Stay low, away from doors and windows, and as close to the interior hallway walls as possible. Wait for further instructions.
Schedule of Classes_(readings listed below the due date and in recommended order)__
(Wed) Jan. 23rd – Introduction to the Course
(Fri) Jan. 25th – Approaching the History of Gender
(CR, 1-12) Merry Wiesner, Introduction to her Gender in History (Blackwell, 2000), 1-23.
(CR, 13-24) Michael S. Kimmel, “Inequality and Difference: The Social Construction of Gender Relations,” in The Gendered Society, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2004), 93-113.
(CR, 25-27) Aelred of Rievaulx, “The Nun of Watton,” in Women and Writing in Medieval Europe, ed. Carolyne Larrington (Routledge, 1995), 128-133.
(Mon) Jan. 28th – The Classical Background (A)
(CR, 30-41) Mary Harlow, “Clothes Maketh the Man: Power Dressing and Masculinity in the
Later Roman World,” in Gender in the Early Medieval World: East and West, 300-900 (Cambridge
University Press, 2004), 44-69.
(CR, 28-29) Roman Ideals: Eulogy of Turia, and Roman Laws, in Women’s Lives in Medieval Europe,
2nd edn., ed. Emilie Amt (Taylor & Francis, 2003), 29-35.
(Wed) Jan. 30th – The Early Christian Background (B)
(CR, 42-59) Peter Brown, “From Apostle to Apologist,” in The Body and Society: Men, Women and
Sexual Renunciation in Early Christianity (Columbia U.P., 1988), 33-64.
Murray, Reader, nos. 1, 3, and 9, 36-37
(Fri) Feb. 1st – The Germanic Background (C)
(CR, 60-85) Lisa Bitel, “Invasions, Migrations, and Barbarian Queens,” in Women in Early Medieval
Europe, 400-1000 (Cambridge, 2002), 46-94.
Murray, Reader, nos. 2 and 5
(Mon) Feb. 4th – Women and Men in Early Medieval Europe (D)
(CR, 86-94) N. Gradowicz-Pancer, 'De-Gendering Female Violence: Merovingian Female Honor as
an ‘Exchange of Violence,’” Early Medieval Europe 11 (2002): 1-18.
Murray, Reader, nos. 46 and 49
(Wed) Feb. 6th – Sex Difference and Sexuality: Medical and Scientific Approaches (E)
(CR, 95-111) Vern Bullough, "Medieval Medical and Scientific Views of Women," Viator 4
(CR, 112-16) Aristotle, Galen, and Isidore of Seville, ed. Alcuin Blamires, Woman Defamed, Woman
Defended (Oxford, 1992), 38-45.
(Fri) Feb. 8th – Sex Difference and Sexuality: Theological Approaches (F)
(CR, 117-126) James Brundage, “Sex and Canon Law,” in Handbook of Medieval Sexuality, ed. Vern L.
Bullough and James Brundage (Garland, 1996), 33-50.
Murray, Reader, nos. 7, 59
Religion and Gender
(Mon) Feb. 11th– Chastity and Masculine Identity (A)
(CR, 127-136) Jacqueline Murray, “Masculinizing Religious Life: Sexual Prowess, the Battle for
Chastity, and Monastic Identity,” in Holiness and Masculinity in the Middle Ages, ed. P.H. Cullum
and Katherine J. Lewis (Toronto, 2004), 24-42.
(CR, 137-148) The Life of Godric of Finchale, ed. Mary-Ann Stouck in Medieval Saints: A Reader
(Broadview, 1999), 412-35.
Murray, Reader, no. 51
(Wed) Feb. 13th – Gender, Sanctity, and Friendship: Christina of Markyate (B)
(CR, 149-155) Clarissa Atkinson, “’Precious Balsam in a Fragile Glass:’ The Ideology of Virginity
in the Later Middle Ages,” Journal of Family History 8 (1983): 131-143.
Life of Christina of Markyate, ed. Talbot, Introduction (vii-xxv) and 3-35
(Fri) Feb. 15th – Gender, Sanctity, and Friendship: Christina of Markyate, cont. (C)
Life of Christina of Markyate, ed. Talbot, 35-56
(CR, 156-164) C. Stephen Jaeger, “The Loves of Christina of Markyate,” in Christina of Markyate:
A Twelfth-Century Holy Woman, ed. Henrietta Leyser and Samuel Fanous (Routledge, 2004), 99-115.
(Mon) Feb. 18th – Christina of Markyate, cont. (D)
(CR, 165-173) Rachel Koopmans, “Dining at Markyate with Lady Christina,” in Christina of
Markyate, ed. Leyser and Fanous, 143-159.
Life of Christina of Markyate, ed. Talbot, 56-88
(Wed) Fri. 20th – Asceticism and Power (E)
(CR, 189-197) The Life of Christina the Astonishing, ed. Mary-Ann Stouck in Medieval Saints: A
Reader (Broadview, 1999), 436-52.
(CR, 174-188) Caroline Walker Bynum, “…and Woman His Humanity: Gender Imagery in the
Religious Writing of The Later Middle Ages," in Gender and Religion: On the Complexity of Symbols,
ed. Caroline Bynum, Stevan Harrell and P. Richman (Boston, 1996), 257-88.
(Fri) Feb. 22nd – Film: Julian of Norwich (Mystic Women of the Middle Ages series, 2000)
*No reading due! We’ll watch and discuss a short film in class today.
Essay on Gender, Holiness, and Sexuality, due Friday, Feb. 22nd by 3pm in my office.
Love in Medieval Theory and Practice
(Mon) Feb. 25th – Aristocratic Realities: Kinship and Marriage (F)
(CR, 198-210) Georges Duby, “Two Models of Marriage: the Aristocratic and the Ecclesiastical,”
in Medieval Marriage: Two Models from 12th-century France (Baltimore: 1978): 1-22.
Murray, Reader, nos. 23, 29, 34 and 50
(Wed) Feb. 27th– Theorizing Love (A)
(CR, 211-223) Kim Phillips, “Maidenhood as the Perfect Age of Woman’s Life,” in Young
Medieval Women, ed. Katherine J. Lewis et al. (St Martin’s, 1999), 1-24
Murray, Reader, nos. 12, 13, 16, and 20
(Fri) Mar. 1st – A Case-Study: The Romance of Erec and Enide (B)
Chrétien de Troyes, Arthurian Romances, Introduction (1-7 only) and 37-60
(Mon) Mar. 4th –The Romance of Erec and Enide, cont. (C)
(CR, 224-233) M. Bennett, Military Masculinity in England and Northern France, c. 1050-c.1225,
in Masculinity in Medieval Europe, ed. D.M. Hadley (Longman, 1999), 71-88.
Chrétien de Troyes, “Erec and Enide,” in Arthurian Romances, 60-81
(Wed) Mar. 6th – The Romance of Erec and Enide, cont. (D)
Chrétien de Troyes, “Erec and Enide,” in Arthurian Romances, 82-122
(Fri) Mar. 8th – Initial Meetings on Research Topics (no class)
Gender, Social Class, and Labor
(Mon) Mar. 11th – Gender Roles in Peasant Society (E)
(CR, 234-243) Judith Bennett, “The Tie that Binds: Peasant Marriages and Families in Late
Medieval England,” in Medieval Familes, ed. Carol Neel (U. of Toronto Press, 2004), 214-233.
Murray, Reader, nos. 56, 58
(Wed) Mar. 13th – Women and Men in the Urban Economy
(CR, 244-253) Martha Howell, “The Gender of Europe's Commercial Economy, 1200-
1700,” Gender & History 20/3 (2008): 519-538.
(CR, 254-58) Documents on proper behavior, gossip, and fashion in late medieval towns, in
Medieval Towns: A Reader, ed. Maryanne Kowaleski (Broadview Press, 2006), 214-221.
(Fri) Mar. 15th – Midterm Exam (essay format)
**Spring Break: No Classes the Week of March 18th-22dn**
(Mon) Mar. 25th – Library Research Session (meet in Library 118)
There’s no reading due for today, but everyone should locate and read a subject encylopedia entry on a possible research topic before today’s class. If you have a wireless-enabled laptop, please bring it to our library session!
(Wed) Mar. 27th – Same Sex Love and Sex (F)
(CR, 259-266) Ruth Mazo Karras, “Knighthood, Compulsory Heterosexuality, and Sodomy,” in
The Boswell Thesis, ed. Mathew Kuefler (University of Chicago Press, 2006), 273-86.
(CR, 267-274) Alain of Lille, The Plaint of Nature, trans. James J. Sheridan (University of Toronto,
(CR, 275-277 Hilary the Englishman, Love Poems, trans. John Boswell in Christianity, Social
Tolerance, and Homosexuality (University of Chicago Press, 1980), 372-74 (Appendix 2).
(Fri) Mar. 29th – Clothing and Gender Identity (A)
(CR, 278-288) Vern L. Bullough, “Cross Dressing and Gender Role Change in the Middle Ages,”
in The Handbook of Medieval Sexuality, ed. Vern L. Bullough and James Brundage (Garland
Publishing, 1996), 223-242.
(CR, 289-294) Life of Saint Mary/Marina, in Medieval Saints: A Reader, ed. Mary-Ann Stouk
(University of Toronto Press, 1998), 127-34.
(CR, 295-302) David Lorenzo Boyd and Ruth Mazo Karras, "Ut cum muliere: A Male Transvestite
Prostitute in Fourteenth-Century London," in Sexualities in History: A Reader, ed. Kim M.
Phillips and Barry Reay (Routledge, 2002), 90-104.
(Mon) Apr. 1st – Prostitution (B)
(CR, 305-320) Joëlle Rollo-Koster, “From Prostitutes to Brides of Christ: The
Avignonese Repenties in the Late Middle Ages,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
32/1 (2002): 109-144.
(CR, 321-322) Records of London Prostitutes, in Women’s Lives, ed. Amt, 176-78.
(Wed) Apr. 3rd – Independent Research (no class)
(Fri) Apr. 5th – From Peasant Girl to Warrior (C)
Joan of Arc: In Her Own Words, 1-48
(Mon) Apr. 8th – From Warrior to Witch (D)
Joan of Arc: In Her Own Words, 49-90
(Wed) Apr. 10th– From Martyr to Memory (E)
Joan of Arc: In Her Own Words, 91-144
(Fri) Apr. 12th – Independent Research (no class)
Renaissance Men and Women
(Mon) Apr. 15th – A Renaissance for Whom? (F)
(CR, 323-334) Sharon Strocchia, “Gender and the Rites of Honour in Italian Renaissance Cities,”
in Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, ed. Judith Brown and Robert Davis (Longman, 1998),
(CR, 335-344) Leon Battista Alberti, excerpts from The Book of the Family, in The Civilization of the
Italian Renaissance, ed. Kenneth Bartlett (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011), 125-133.
(Wed) Apr. 17th – Gender and Humanism: Women in the Public Sphere (A)
King & Rabil, Her Immaculate Hand, Introduction (11-30) and Part 1 (33-50)
(Fri) Apr. 19th – Gender and Humanism: Women Writing About Women (B)
King & Rabil, Her Immaculate Hand, Part 2 (53-88)
(Mon) Apr. 22nd – Gender and Humanism, Men Writing About Women
King & Rabil, Her Immaculate Hand, Part 3 (91-129)
(Wed) Apr. 24th – Independent Research (no class)
**Prospectus & Annotated Bibliography due Thursday, April 25th by 3pm in my office**
Gender and Society in Early Modern Europe
(Fri.) Apr. 26th – Reforming Gender Roles in the Sixteenth Century (C)
Ozment, Burgermeister’s Daughter, ch. 1-2
(Mon) Apr. 29th – Reforming Gender Roles, cont. (D)
Ozment, Burgermeister’s Daughter, ch. 3-4
(CR, 345-356) Martin Luther, writings on sexuality and marriage, in Luther on Women: A
Sourcebook, ed. Merry Wiesner and Susan Karant-Nunn (Cambridge University Press, 2003),
(Wed) May 1st – Reforming Gender Roles, cont. (E)
Ozment, Burgermeister’s Daughter, ch. 5-7
(Fri) May 3rd – Independent Research (no class)
(Mon) May 6th – Witchcraft and Gender (F)
(CR, 357-364) Michael D. Bailey, “The Feminization of Magic and the Emerging Idea of the
Female Witch in the Late Middle Ages,” Essays in Medieval Studies 19 (2002): 120-134.
(CR, 365-372) Two Witchtrials: Walpurga Hausmännin and Johannes Junius, ed. E. William
Monter in European Witchcraft (John Wiley & Sons, 1969), 75-88.
(Wed) May 8th – Conclusions
(CR, 373-377) Judith Bennett, “Forgetting the Past,” Gender & History 20/3 (2008): 669-77.
(CR, 378-390) Nancy F. Partner, “No Sex, No Gender,” Speculum 68 (1993): 117-42.
**Final papers are due on Tuesday, May 14th by 3pm in my office**
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