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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (School of History and Classics)

Postgraduate Course: Women in Britain, c. 1300-c. 1700 (PGHC11328)

Course Outline
School School of History, Classics and Archaeology College College of Humanities and Social Science
Course type Standard Availability Available to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken) SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits 20
Home subject area Postgraduate (School of History and Classics) Other subject area None
Course website None Taught in Gaelic? No
Course description The course assesses the status of women in late medieval and early modern Britain, c. 1300-c. 1700. In particular, it will evaluate chronological changes and regional differences, consider the problems of different types of source material, and discuss different scholarly approaches. Themes it will cover include law, power, work, marriage, and lifecycle.
Entry Requirements
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisites None
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus? No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2010/11 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralSeminarRm 2.27 Doorway 4, Teviot Place1-11 14:00 - 15:50
First Class First class information not currently available
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
&· Have an understanding of the concerns and approaches of women&©s history
&· Have detailed knowledge regarding the position of women in late medieval and early modern Britain c. 1300-c. 1700
&· Have developed his/her ability to engage critically in debate, to synthesize and review a range of arguments, and to analyse contemporary source material
Assessment Information
Students will be required to produce one essay of 3,000 words on a subject negotiated with the organiser
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description This course has been designed as an option primarily for the MSc Medieval History and MSc Gender History. The study of late medieval and early modern women is a thriving and dynamic research area, and the span of time chosen for this course means that a broad range of issues which relate to the changing roles of women over the course of the late medieval and early modern periods can be addressed. There is also a rich collection of readily accessible primary source material, including both literary and legal documents, to facilitate student research and debate.
The key premise of the course is that gender has a history, and this course explores part of that history by looking at ideas of gender and gender roles in late medieval and early modern Britain from c. 1300 to c. 1700, although the focus will be on women in England and Scotland. As such, the course is designed both for those with a specialist interest in the late medieval and/or early modern periods and for those with a specialist interest in gender who might be interested in exploring its construction in a specific set of cultural circumstances. The course will discuss women belonging to a variety of social and economic classes to provide a multifaceted view of women&©s roles, with an emphasis on the dynamic states of women during this period.
Syllabus Indicative course content:
1. Introduction: Key approaches and debates in the study of late medieval and early modern women
2. Gender ideologies: Women defamed and defended
3. Women and Power
4. Women, the Law and Marriage
5. Women and the Family
6. Women and Waged Work: Continuity or Change?
7. Women&©s Life Writing
8. Women and Sexuality
9. Women and Deviance
10. Women and Witchcraft
11. Essay Presentations
Transferable skills &· To develop or enhance an understanding of the concerns and approaches of women&©s history and, in particular, of gender as an analytical category
&· To relate gender in the late medieval and early modern period to its social and cultural constructs
&· To explore late medieval and early modern social and cultural life more widely via this analysis
&· To further develop students&© study skills and analytical capabilities though an engagement with both primary source material and secondary source discussion
&· To enable students individually to develop a more profound understanding of particular aspects of the topics covered
Reading list M. Agren and A.L. Erickson (eds.), The Marital Economy in Scandinavia and Britain, 1400-1900 (Aldershot, 2005).
S. Bardsley, Venomous Tongues: Speech and Gender in Late Medieval England (Philadelphia, 2006).
S. Bardsley, $łWomen&©s Work Reconsidered: Gender and Wage Differentiation in Late Medieval England&©, Past and Present, 165 (1999), 3-29.
C. Barron and A.F. Sutton, Medieval London Widows, 1300-1500 (London, 1994).
J.M. Bennett, Ale, Beer and Brewsters (Oxford, 1996).
J.M. Bennett, $łConfronting Continuity&©, Journal of Women&©s History, 9:3 (1997-8), 73-94.
J.M. Bennett, $łFeminism and History&©, Gender and History, 1 (1989), 251-72.
J.M. Bennett, Women in the Medieval English Countryside (Oxford, 1987).
J.M. Bennett and A.M. Froide (eds.), Singlewomen and the European Past, 1250-1800 (Philadelphia, 1999).
A. Blamires (ed.), Women Defamed and Women Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts (Oxford, 1997).
Y. Brown and R. Ferguson (eds.), Twisted Sisters: Women, Crime and Deviance in Scotland Since 1400 (East Linton, 2002).
K. Chedgzoy, M. Hansen and S. Trill (eds.), Voicing Women: Gender and Sexuality in Early Morden Writing (Keele, 1996).
E.M. Craik, Marriage and Property (Aberdeen, 1984).
A.L. Erickson, $łPossession-and the other one-tenth of the law: Assessing women&©s ownership and economic roles in early modern England&©, Women&©s History Review 16:3 (2007), 369-85.
A.L. Erickson, Women and Property in Early Modern England (London, 1993).
M. Erler and M. Kowaleski (eds.), Women and Power in the Middle Ages (Athens, 1988).
M.C. Erler and M. Kowaleski (eds.), Gendering the Master Narrative: Women and Power in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, 2003).
E. Ewan and M. Meikle (eds.), Women in Scotland, c. 1100-c.1750 (East Linton, 1999).
E. Ewan and J. Nugent (eds.), Finding the Family in Late Medieval and Early Modern Scotland (Aldershot, 2008).
P.J.P. Goldberg (ed.), Women is a Worthy Wight (Sutton, 1992).
P.J.P. Goldberg, Women, Work, and Life Cycle in a Medieval Economy: Women in York and Yorkshire, c. 1300-1520 (Oxford, 1992).
P.J.P. Goldberg (ed.), Women in England, c. 1275-1525 (Manchester, 1995).
D. Gifford and D. McMillan (eds.), History of Scottish Women&©s Writing (Edinburgh, 1997)
J. Goodare, The Scottish Witch-hunt in Context (Manchester, 2002).
L. Gowing, Domestic Dangers: Women, words and sex in early modern London (Oxford, 1996).
B. Hanawalt, Ties that Bound: Peasant Families in Medieval England (Oxford, 1986).
B. Hanawalt, Wealth of Wives (Oxford, 2007).
B. Hanawalt (ed.), Women and Work in Preindustrial Europe (Bloomington, 1986).
H. Jewell, Women in Medieval England (Manchester, 1996).
R.M. Karras, Common Women: Prostitution and Sexuality in Medieval England (New York, 1996).
C. Larner, Enemies of God: The Witch-hunt in Scotland (London, 1981).
L. Leneman and R. Mitchison, Sin in the City: sexuality and social control in urban Scotland, 1660-1780 (Edinburgh, 1998).
K.J. Lewis, N.J. Menuge and K.M. Phillips (eds.), Young Medieval Women (New York, 1999).
H. Leyser, Medieval Women (London, 1995).
C. McCarthy, Marriage in Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2004).
M. MacCurtain and M. O&©Dowd, Women in Early Modern Ireland (Edinburgh, 1991).
M.K. McIntosh, Working Women in English Society, 1300-1620 (Cambridge, 1995).
N.J. Menuge (ed.), Medieval Women and the Law (Woodbridge, 2000).
C.M. Meek and K. Simms (eds.), $łThe fragility of her sex&©?: Medieval Irishwomen in their European context (1996).
J. Murray, Love, Marriage and Family in the Middle Ages (2001).
D. Mullan, Women&©s Life-writing in Early Modern Scotland (Aldershot, 2003).
N.F. Partner (ed.), Studying Medieval Women (Cambridge, MA, 1993).
C. Peters, Women in Early Modern Britain, 1450-1640 (Hampshire, 2004).
K.M. Phillips, $łWhere should we be going with medieval women and gender?&©, Journal of British Studies, 39 (2000), 241-47.
K.M. Phillips, Medieval Maidens (Mancheser, 2003).
S.H. Rigby, English Society in the Later Middle Ages (Houndmills, 1995).
M. Roberts and S. Clarke, Women and Gender in Early Modern Wales (Cardiff, 2000).
M. Rubin, $łA decade of studying medieval women, 1987-1997&©, History Workshop Journal, 46 (1998), 213-39.
T. Stretton, Women Waging Law in Elizabethan England (Cambridge, 1998).
D. Symonds, Weep not for me: Women, Ballads, and Infanticide in Early Modern Scotland (Pennsylvania, 1997).
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern The course will be taught by Ms. Cathryn Spence. The organisation will vary according to student numbers, but will either take the form of weekly seminars or of guided reading and tutorials. It is proposed to run this option in semester one. Contact hours: Approximately two hours per week for 11 weeks.

This course will make use of Edinburgh University Library, the National Library of Scotland, as well as primary source material held at the National Archives of Scotland and Edinburgh City Archives.
Keywords Not entered
Course organiser Ms Cathryn Spence
Course secretary Mrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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