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

Postgraduate Course: Women in Medieval Europe, c.1000-c.1500 (PGHC11212)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course assesses the scholarly study of women in medieval Europe, c.1000-c.1500. In particular it will consider historiographical trends and the problems of different types of source material. Themes it covers include life cycle and marriage, the law, work, power, religion and sexuality.
Course description The course aims 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 Middle Ages to its social and cultural contexts; to explore medieval social and cultural life more widely via this analysis; to develop further students' study skills and analytical capabilities through an engagement with both secondary discussion and primary source material, and to enable students individually to develop a more profound understanding of particular aspects of the topics covered. The course is tailored to the research interests of the cohort but in a typical semester we discuss the Woman Debate; the Female Body and the Life Cycle; Women and Marriage; Peasant Women; Urban Women; Women and Power; Women and Religion; Women on the Margins and Continuity or Change?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
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 through seminar discussions and the essay a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning women in medieval Europe c.1000-1500.
  2. Demonstrate through seminar discussions and in the essay an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship and primary source materials concerning women in medieval Europe c.1000-1500.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions and the essay by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course.
  4. Demonstrate in seminar discussions and the essay originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy.
Reading List
H. Leyser, Medieval Women: A Social History of Women in England, 450-1500 (1995).

J.M. Bennett, History Matters: Patriarchy and the Challenge of Feminism (2006).
Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe, ed. J.M. Bennett and R.M Karras (Oxford, 2013).

Woman Defamed and Woman Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts, ed. A. Blamires (Oxford, 1992).

Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies, trans Rosalind Brown-Grant (Penguin edn, 1999).

T. Skinner and E. Van Houts (trans.), Medieval Writings on Secular Women (2011).

E. Amt (ed.), Women's Lives in Medieval Europe: A Sourcebook (1993).

P.J.P. Goldberg, Women in England c.1275-1525 (Manchester, 1995).

Women and Writing in Medieval Europe: A Sourcebook, ed. C. Larrington (London, 1995).

K.M. Wilson (ed.), Medieval Women Writers (Manchester, 1984).

J. Ward (ed.), Women of the English nobility and gentry, 1066-1500 (Manchester, 1995).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsWomen Medieval Europe
Course organiserDr Cordelia Beattie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3778
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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