Education and Women in the Early Modern Hispanic World (Women and Gender in the Early Modern World)

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Mohiuddin Credit, full course. A consideration of the role of women in literature. Topics include Gothic fiction, nineteenth- and twentieth-century women writers, and women in fiction. Drawing on authors of both genders, the course considers gender relations, the historic role of women, the special challenges that have faced women writers, and the role of women in fiction. A study of the major dramatic works of Tennessee Williams, as well as his poetry and fiction. A study of the Canterbury Tales and other poems by Chaucer.

A term paper is usually expected. A study of several plays written before A study of several plays after A study of the major 16th-century genres, with emphasis on sources, developments, and defining concerns. A study of the major 17th-century poets, concentrating on such poets' redefinitions of genre, mode, and source. A study of the first two important American poets, Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, whose expansive free verse and tight, elliptical lyrics defined the possibilities for American poets for the next hundred years.

This course examines in detail the careers and major works of these poets, with brief consideration of their contemporaries and literary heirs. A consideration of British fiction from the s to the present. The course explores the new kinds of fiction that emerge from high modernist innovations, as well as from changing cultural conditions, such as Britain's decline as a political and economic power.

An exploration of modern drama from Ibsen's naturalism to contemporary drama's innovations. The course investigates the relationship between the theatre and social reform, and considers issues of performance as well as close analysis of the plays themselves. Tucker Credit, full course. A study of 20th-century literature written in English from Africa, South Asia, and the Caribbean, concentrating on colonial and post-colonial themes, as well as issues of gender, politics, and nationalism.

Naipaul, and Derek Walcott.

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An exploration of diverse ways of representing and conceptualizing the human body in contemporary world cinema. This course traces German queer cinema from the earliest representations of gay and lesbian sexual orientations in s Weimar to topics such as sexual indeterminacy and the queering of nationality and migrant culture in contemporary films. The course examines how films both represent and produce non-normative sexual desires and identities. It also considers sexual and gender identity in relation to particular historical and cultural moments as well as to other constituting experiences race, class, gender, nationality.

These topics are studied in the context of particular movements, directors, and genres in German cinema. The course explores a variety of gender-based arguments that women have used to bring social change, assessing whether these approaches are effective or ultimately limit women to a narrow range of issues. Berebitsky Credit, full course. It also asks whether a fundamental change in the meaning of childhood by corresponded to the emergence of an increasingly global, colonial, and industrial world order. Whitmer Credit, full course.

This survey approaches the outlaw both as imagined in fiction, film, and music and as a real historical subject. Legal and other-than-legal responses to the outlaw are also considered. A survey of the history of American women which considers how women experienced colonization, American expansion, the industrial revolution, war, and changes in the culture's understanding of gender roles and the family.

The course also explores how differences in race, ethnicity, and class affected women's experience. A survey of the major changes in American women's lives since the end of the last century, including increased access to education, movement into the labor market, and changes in reproductive behavior and in their role within the family. Special consideration is given to the movements for women's rights. Adopting gender analysis as its methodological framework it focuses on the changing constructions of femininity and masculinity in relation to major global upheavals and theories of violence in the modern world The course examines the impact of such developments on the lives of European women of different socioeconomic, regional, and racial backgrounds.

Topics covered include the Russian Revolutions, World Wars I and II, global terrorism of the s, and contemporary European feminist politics of immigration and the veil. Case studies of individual women are employed, along with critical analysis of different categories of source material.

This class examines African-American Women's participation and critical role in religious life in America. It explores black women's place in the formation of revival culture, the creation of religious ritual, and the institutional establishment of the black churches. Further, it investigates black women's vital role in the dissemination of religious values within and between generations. Through biography and autobiography, this course addresses the ways in which black women have appropriated religious language and sensibility in constructing the narratives of their lives.

In sum, it explores the myriad ways African-American women contested and critiqued their place in the church and the community, while simultaneously supporting and furthering black churches and promoting the health of religious life. This discussion-based seminar examines women's experience from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Topics include changes in understandings of motherhood and female sexuality, popular women's fiction, and representations of women in music, film, and television.

A seminar on the history of Latin American women from the seventeenth century to the present, examining the tension in Latin American countries concerning the role of women, their relationship to the family, and their desire for equality. The course explores controversies over the legal status of women, education, employment, and participation in political life.

Students examine several theoretical approaches to gender studies together with specific case studies. A study of national projects in Latin America from to the present. Drawing on the tools of gender analysis and cultural history, students explore the ways in which political, socioeconomic and cultural tensions of particular historical moments were manifested in the sexuality of individuals. Students also examine a variety of primary sources from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries to consider how individuals defined themselves through sexuality and how definitions were imposed on them by a variety of institutions and authority figures.

This course treats honor as a tool for understanding change and continuity in European society from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Honor and shame are viewed as conduits that allow students to explore broader sexual, gender, class and political developments. Particular attention is given to ways in which honor functioned differently in the public ideologies and private lives of dominant and marginal social groups.

This course also explores the relationship of violence to the cult of honor. An investigation of the ways historians read past crimes and scandals for evidence of broader social, political, and cultural anxieties and desires. Focusing less on details of incidents themselves than on the debates and public interpretation surrounding them, this seminar deals with crimes such as those committed by Jack the Ripper or French murderesses at the end of the nineteenth century.

In addition to analyzing secondary sources dealing with crime and scandal, students scrutinize a variety of primary documents such as trial records, medical and judicial debates, scientific analyses of criminality, memoirs of notorious criminals, and detective novels. An exploration of the intertwined histories of health, medicine, religion, and emotion in Europe, c. Informed by the methods and scholarship of social and cultural historians, the course considers the ways in which status, social roles and obligations, gender, and religious identities and practices affected how early moderns understood the health of their minds, bodies, and souls.

Topics include Galenic humoralism and theories of disease, religious and astrological cures, learned medicine and anatomy, dissection and the study of female bodies, hospitals, and asylums. The course examines the cultural creation and reworking of the nuclear family by a diverse range of historical actors within an increasingly global context. How did individuals invent shared pasts that legitimized non-traditional concepts of marriage and the family?

Topics include Victorian, socialist and fascist families, the modification of marriage, and challenges to family structures posed by person of alternate sexual, immigrant, and gendered identities.

Mansker Credit, full course. Beinek Credit, full course.

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A study of poetry, plays, letters, treatises, and prose written by Italian women in the fifteenth-seventeenth centuries. Posted by Alyssa Berthiaume, Marketing Coordinator. Anne J. The prize was announced last month to over scholars attending the Sixteenth Century Society Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. Contributors to the volume: Anne J. Dadson, Darcy R. Kirk, Clara E. Herrera, Adrienne L. During the first weekend of November, the atmosphere was electric at the international, interdisciplinary symposium Attending to Early Modern Women. Established in , CRBS plays a vital role in fostering intellectual exchange between disciplines in the arts and humanities and allied fields.

This will be celebrated at the forthcoming Attending to Early Modern Women conference at the University of Maryland, November see program for details. Could she perform noteworthy deeds? Was she even, strictly speaking, of the same human species as men? These questions were debated over four centuries, in French, German, Italian, Spanish and English, by authors male and female, among Catholics, Protestants and Jews, in ponderous volumes and breezy pamphlets.

The opening volley of this battle occurred in the first years of the fifteenth century, in a literary debate sparked by Christine de Pizan. The debate resurfaced repeatedly over the next two hundred years. The Champion of Women —42 by Martin Le Franc addresses once again the negative views of women presented in The Romance of the Rose , and offers counter evidence of female virtue and achievement.

A cameo of the debate on women is included in The Courtier , one of the most read books of the era, published by the Italian Baldassare Castiglione in and immediately translated into other European vernaculars. The Courtier depicts a series of evenings at the court of the Duke of Urbino in which many men and some women of the highest social stratum amuse themselves by discussing a range of literary and social issues. Gasparo argues the innate inferiority of women and their inclination to vice.

Only in bearing children do they profit the world. Giuliano counters that women share the same spiritual and mental capacities as men and may excel in wisdom and action. Men and women are of the same essence: just as no stone can be more perfectly a stone than another, so no human being can be more perfectly human than others, whether male or female. It was an astonishing assertion, boldly made to an audience as large as all Europe. The treatises. Humanism provided the materials for a positive counterconcept to the misogyny embedded in Scholastic philosophy and law, and inherited from the Greek, Roman and Christian pasts.

A series of humanist treatises on marriage and family, on education and deportment, and on the nature of women helped construct these new perspectives. These themes reappear in later humanist works on marriage and the education of women by Juan Luis Vives and Erasmus. Both were moderately sympathetic to the condition of women without reaching beyond the usual masculine prescriptions for female behavior.

An outlook more favorable to women characterizes the nearly unknown work In Praise of Women ca. In addition to providing a catalog of illustrious women, Goggio argued that male and female are the same in essence, but that women reworking the Adam and Eve narrative from quite a new angle are actually superior. In the same vein, the Italian humanist Mario Equicola asserted the spiritual equality of men and women in On Women This humanist tradition of treatises defending the worthiness of women culminates in the work of Henricus Cornelius Agrippa On the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex.

No work by a male humanist more succinctly or explicitly presents the case for female dignity. The witch books. Witch-hunting manuals, explorations of the witch phenomenon, and even defenses of witches are not at first glance pertinent to the tradition of the other voice. But they do relate in this way: most accused witches were women. The hostility aroused by supposed witch activity is comparable to the hostility aroused by women. The evil deeds the victims of the hunt were charged with were exaggerations of the vices to which, many believed, all women were prone.

Here the inconstancy, deceitfulness, and lustfulness traditionally associated with women are depicted in exaggerated form as the core features of witch behavior. These traits inclined women to make a bargain with the devil—sealed by sexual intercourse—by which they acquired unholy powers. Such bizarre claims, far from being rejected by rational men, were broadcast by intellectuals.

In , he explained the witch phenomenon thus, without discarding belief in diabolism: the devil deluded foolish old women afflicted by melancholia, causing them to believe they had magical powers. Only a few women wrote anything before the dawn of the modern era, for three reasons. First, they rarely received the education that would enable them to write. Second, they were not admitted to the public roles—as administrator, bureaucrat, lawyer or notary, or university professor—in which they might gain knowledge of the kinds of things the literate public thought worth writing about.

Third, the culture imposed silence on women, considering speaking out a form of unchastity.


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Given these conditions, it is remarkable that any women wrote. Those who did before the fourteenth century were almost always nuns or religious women whose isolation made their pronouncements more acceptable. Women continued to write devotional literature, although not always as cloistered nuns. A few were professional writers, living by the income of their pens; the very first among them was Christine de Pizan, noteworthy in this context as in so many others. In addition to The Book of the City of Ladies and her critiques of The Romance of the Rose , she wrote The Treasure of the City of Ladies a guide to social decorum for women , an advice book for her son, much courtly verse, and a full-scale history of the reign of King Charles V of France.

Women patrons. Women who did not themselves write but encouraged others to do so boosted the development of an alternative tradition. Highly-placed women patrons supported authors, artists, musicians, poets and learned men. Such patrons, drawn mostly from the Italian elites and the courts of northern Europe, figure disproportionately as the dedicatees of the important works of early feminism.

These authors presumed that their efforts would be welcome to female patrons, or they may have written at the bidding of those patrons. Silent themselves, perhaps even unresponsive, these loftily placed women helped shape the tradition of the other voice. The issues. The literary forms and patterns in which the tradition of the other voice presented itself have now been sketched.

It remains to highlight the major issues around which this tradition crystallizes. In brief, there are four problems to which our authors return again and again, in plays and catalogs, in verse and letters, in treatises and dialogues, in every language: the problem of chastity, the problem of power, the problem of speech, and the problem of knowledge. Of these the greatest, preconditioning the others, is the problem of chastity.

The problem of chastity. Opponents of women charged them with insatiable lust. Women themselves and their defenders—without disputing the validity of the standard—responded that women were capable of chastity. The requirement of chastity kept women at home, silenced them, isolated them, left them in ignorance. It was the source of all other impediments. Why was it so important to the society of men, of whom chastity was not required, and who more often than not considered it their right to violate the chastity of any woman they encountered? Female chastity ensured the continuity of the male-headed household.

The whole system of the integrity of the household and the transmission of property was bound up in female chastity. Such a requirement pertained only to property-owning classes, of course. Poor women could not expect to maintain their chastity, least of all if they were in contact with high-status men to whom all women but those of their own household were prey. In Catholic Europe, the requirement of chastity was further buttressed by moral and religious imperatives. Original sin was inextricably linked with the sexual act. Virginity was seen as heroic virtue, far more impressive than, say, the avoidance of idleness or greed.

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Monasticism, the cultural institution that dominated medieval Europe for centuries, was grounded in the renunciation of the flesh. The Catholic reform of the eleventh century imposed a similar standard on all the clergy and a heightened awareness of sexual requirements on all the laity. Although men were asked to be chaste, female unchastity was much worse: it led to the devil, as Eve had led mankind to sin. To such requirements, women and their defenders protested their innocence.

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Furthermore, following the example of holy women who had escaped the requirements of family and sought the religious life, some women began to conceive of female communities as alternatives both to family and to the cloister. Moderata Fonte and Mary Astell envisioned others.


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  7. Here women not only might escape, if briefly, the subordinate position that life in the family entailed but might also make claims to power, exercise their capacity for speech, and display their knowledge. The problem of power. Women were excluded from power: the whole cultural tradition insisted on it. Only men were citizens, only men bore arms, only men could be chiefs or lords or kings. There were exceptions that did not disprove the rule, when wives or widows or mothers took the place of men, awaiting their return or the maturation of a male heir. A woman who attempted to rule in her own right was perceived as an anomaly, a monster, at once a deformed woman and an insufficient male, sexually confused and consequently unsafe.

    The association of such images with women who held or sought power explains some otherwise odd features of early modern culture. She was a prince, and manly, even though she was female. She was also she claimed virginal, a condition absolutely essential if she was to avoid the attacks of her opponents. Catherine de' Medici, who ruled France as widow and regent for her sons, also adopted such imagery in defining her position.

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    She chose as one symbol the figure of Artemisia, an androgynous ancient warrior-heroine, who combined a female persona with masculine powers. Power in a woman, without such sexual imagery, seems to have been indigestible by the culture. The old tune was sung by the Scots reformer John Knox in his First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women ; for him rule by women, defects in nature, was a hideous contradiction in terms. The confused sexuality of the imagery of female potency was not reserved for rulers. Any woman who excelled was likely to be called an Amazon, recalling the self-mutilated warrior women of antiquity who repudiated all men, gave up their sons and raised only their daughters.

    The catalogs of notable women often showed those female heroes dressed in armor, armed to the teeth, like men. Excellence in a woman was perceived as a claim for power, and power was reserved for the masculine realm.

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    A woman who possessed either was masculinized, and lost title to her own female identity. The problem of speech. Just as power had a sexual dimension when it was claimed by women, so did speech.