Postgraduate Course: Studying Women in Late Medieval England: Sources and Approaches (PGHC11446)
|School||School of History, Classics and Archaeology
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course will focus on the key sources that have been used to study women below the ranks of the nobility in late medieval England. We will look at a key type of source each week and consider which methodologies are most appropriate. We will discuss the key areas that have been explored to date - legal status, work, marriage, life cycle, sexual behaviour, crime, piety, literacy - as well as more recent areas of research.
This course will focus on the key sources that have been used to study women below the ranks of the nobility in late medieval England c.1275-1520. Although we will look at the sources in edited translations, we will also think about what survives and where and what relationship it bears to the editions that we have to work with. We will look at a key type of source each week and consider how it has been approached, what are the problems with those approaches and what we think we could get out of the source material. We will discuss the key areas that have been explored to date - legal status, work, marriage, life cycle, sexual behaviour, crime, piety, literacy - and think about some of the most recent topics such as space, emotion, material culture, and disability.
Indicative course structure:
Coroners' rolls (and childhood)
Conduct texts (and youth)
Church court depositions (and marriage)
Paston letters (wives and mothers)
Manorial records (peasant women and work)
Borough court records (townswomen and work)
Saints' lives (and religion)
Book of Margery Kempe
Wills (and death)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1 x 4,000 word essay.
||Up until the end of Week 8, students will be invited to submit an essay question and outline (maximum one page), and to meet with me, online or in-person, to discuss. Students will get extensive written feedback on submitted work. They will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback in a one-to-one meeting with the course organizer.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of History, including essay-writing, independent reading, and group discussion
- show detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning women in late medieval England
- plan and execute a substantial written analysis concerning women in late medieval England
- reflect critically on a variety of methodological approaches to the study of women in late medieval England
- read, analyse and reflect critically upon a variety of primary source material relating to women in late medieval England.
|J. Goldberg, 'Women in Later Medieval English Archives', Journal of the Society of Archivists, 15:1 (1994), 59-71.|
D. Watt, Medieval Women's Writing (2007).
P.J.P. Goldberg (ed.), Women in England c.1275-1525 (Manchester, 1995),
D. Watt (ed.), The Paston Women: Selected Letters (Cambridge, 2004).
B.A. Windeatt, The Book of Margery Kempe (1994).
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|| - effective retrieval of scattered and highly technical information
- ability to evaluate critically a range of relevant scholarly methodologies and to choose and apply successfully the most effective one(s) necessary to answer specific research questions
- ability to evaluate 'primary' sources of evidence of the past in order to draw valid conclusions about it
- ability to produce a sustained and effective analysis of a difficult research problem
- preparing balanced and accessible discussions of complex issues and detailed material
- composing concise but effective arguments to firm deadlines
- ability to work effectively and professionally in a seminar/group discussion atmosphere
- critical thinking and reading as applied to fragmentary evidence and/or scholarly argument
- ability to develop a strong grasp of complex subjects through directed reading
- ability to test, modify and strengthen one's own views through collaboration and debate
- ability to identify and carry out a viable research project with occasional supervision, but with readiness to take responsibility for one's own learning
- ability to approach problems with academic rigour, imagination and mental agility
- possession of an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and boundaries of study in this area of enquiry, as well as the capacity to question these
- IT skills connected with Internet use, online databases, and word processing
- command of bibliographical and library and/or archival research skills
- analytical reading skills
|Course organiser||Prof Cordelia Beattie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3778
|Course secretary||Miss Lorna Berridge