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You are here: Home Courses Middlebury-CMRS Course List HIST 0133 / GSFS 0133 Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Europe

HIST 0133 / GSFS 0133 Gender and Sexuality in Medieval Europe

This course explores questions of gender and sexuality in western Europe during the middle ages, from around the fall of the western Roman Empire in the fifth century, until the fifteenth century.  Christianity was a perennial element shaping attitudes and practices, but was a complex package, constantly re-interpreted in changing historical circumstances.  Gender and sexuality need to be located in economic, cultural and social context.  This course draws on primary sources (in English translation), ranging from Augustine of Hippo to Christine de Pizan, informed by the work of modern scholars such as Peter Brown, Julia H.M. Smith, and John Boswell. 

Sample topics:

Augustine of Hippo

Better to marry than to burn?

Monasticism and clerical celibacy

Same sex desire

Masculinities

Women’s writing

Sex, gender, and medieval orientalism

The Virgin Mary

You never know what you'll find
One afternoon, I left St. Michael's Hall with the desire for a cookie and thought I'd pick one up before heading back to the Bodleian. The shop around...
Gabrielle Linnell, Spring Semester 2012, Wellesley College