Women and Gender in Medieval Society

Department of History, School of History and Cultures

College of Arts and Law


Code 22819

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester 1&2

Module description

The course aims to give a broad overview and introduction of the history of women in Medieval Europe with a special emphasis on England. The period covered will span approximately from 1100 to 1500and key topics will be explored through a variety of primary sources, including secular and ecclesiastical court records, chronicles, poems and sermons. There will be an emphasis on historiography and the problems of gender history versus the history of women alongside analysis of theories attempting to explain gender discrimination, including feminism. These debates will be placed within a medieval context and alongside topics such as Sexuality and prostitution, medieval attitudes to marriage, peasant women, Queens, and nuns. Long term changes in status and debates surrounding changes in economic participation will also be explored, alongside impacts of Life-Cycle changes, including childhood and widowhood.