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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Gender and Sexuality in Early Modern Europe (HIST10279)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course examines early modern gender and sexuality as historical and theoretical constructs. It explores how definitions of gender and sexuality evolved and operated in the early modern period, and how these definitions expressed the concerns of a given culture in matters religious, social and political.
Course description The course will investigate the cultural and social norms that surrounded men and women in the Renaissance and how these norms informed sexual acts and classified them as legitimate or illegitimate. It will explore the way Renaissance and early modern bodies were conceived to work, and investigate the different understanding of sex and gender in the period. It will analyse what was deemed licit and illicit and what social norms guided sexual relations in the period. Together with the concepts of gender and sexuality, the course will explore the following topics: concepts of the body and procreation; the social role of men and women in the early modern period; early modern sexualities; sexuality and crime; religion and sexuality; sexuality and power, and women's writings. The course has a broad chronological and geographic scope and is highly interdisciplinary, drawing from fields such as the history of medicine, political history, anthropology, and the history of sexuality.

The aims of the course are to:
- Identify the main historical issues that characterize the history of gender and sexuality in the early modern period;
- demonstrate an informed understanding of theoretical debates in the fields of gender and sexuality;
- demonstrate historical perspective in relation to the categories of gender and sexuality;
- further develop an ability to investigate historical subjects;
- reflect on past and present gender and social norms;
- question deeply engrained societal values, and gain an informed perspective on a key aspect of human society.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503767).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Philippe Ariès and G. Duby (eds), A History of Private Life (Cambridge, Mass., 1987-1991), 5 vols (the Renaissance and Early Modern Periods are covered in vols. 2 and 3)
Judith C. Brown and Robert C. Davis (eds), Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy (London, 1998).
Katherine Crawford, European Sexualities, 1400-1800 (Cambridge, 2007)
Georges Duby and M. Perrot (eds), Natalie Zemon Davis and Arlette Farge (eds), A History of Women in the West, vol.3 (Cambridge, Mass, 1994)
Anna Fausto-Sterling, Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality (New York, 2000)
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: Vol. 1 An Introduction (New York, 1990, originally published 1928)
Olwen Hufton, The Prospect before Her: A History of Women in Western Europe, 2 vols. (New York, 1995)
Robert Shoemaker and Mary Vincent (eds), Gender and History in Western Europe (1998)
James G. Turner, Sexuality and Gender in Early Modern Europe: Institutions, Texts, Images (Cambridge, 1993).
Mary Wiesner-Hanks, Christianity and Sexuality in the Early Modern World: Regulating Desire, Reforming Practice (London and NY, 2000);
--Gender in History (Oxford, 2001)
--Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, 1993; 2nd ed. 2000)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information The course will be taught in a seminar format of an hour and fifty minutes per week.
KeywordsGender & Sexuality
Course organiserDr David Rosenthal
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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