The Catholic University of America

Women, Sex and Gender, 1000-1500, (Hist. 306)

This course examines the experience of women in Western Europe during the later Middle Ages (ca. 1100-1500) and the contributions that women made to that culture. At the same time, the course examines how medieval gender systems were historically constructed and the implications of that construction for society and the sexes. The discussion component of the course introduces a broad range of primary sources available in translation along with methods of historical analysis and interpretation. We will examine the history of women, sex, and gender through such well known figures as Hildegard of Bingen, Clare of Assisi, Joan of Arc, and Christine de Pizan, as well as a host of lesser known women. Topics include: women under the law; work; marriage and family; religious life and experience; heresy and crime; scientific and medical discourses about women; literary and cultural production. Through weekly discussion sections this course aims to make its participants active interpreters of the past.