Department of History
Lisa Jane Graham
Theoretical discussions in the past decades have demonstrated that gender and sexuality are important categories of historical analysis. Definitions of masculinity and feminity evolve in tandem with other domains such as statecraft, medicine, technology, religion, commerce, aesthetics, and jurisprudence. This course explores the construction of gender roles and ideas about sexuality in European society from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. The readings combine primary and secondary sources with theories of sexuality. Discussions will focus on the intersection between theory and practice in law, literature, and political theory. Special attention will be paid to the role of print in constructing and deconstructing gender norms and sexual codes. Topics include masculinity, female authority, sexuality and identity, witchcraft, performance and travesty, patriarchy and morality, education and science.
Our meetings will combine lectures, slides, and discussions.. There is no official textbook for this course but students should consult Merry Wiesners Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (on reserve) when they want historical background or bibliography on specific topics.
In this course, you will be working to polish your skills as thinkers and writers. Paper grades evaluate both the form and content of your arguments. The two cannot be separated because poor writing makes for muddled arguments. Thus, give yourself time to prepare your papers. I am always available to discuss or read papers in progress.
Attendance: Students are expected to attend class and arrive prepared for discussion. More than three absences will lower your grade in the course.
Papers: You will write two papers during the semester. The first paper (3-5 pp.) will be based on the assigned readings. For the second paper (8-10 pp.), you will select and analyze a primary source/image from the period. Students with a reading knowledge of French, Spanish, German, or Italian are encouraged to work with a document in the original language.
Exams: All students will take a final exam. The exam will be a take-home essay based on lectures, discussions, and assigned readings.
Participation: I will distribute and collect discussion worksheets on a weekly basis throughout the semester. These will be factored into your participation grade as well as your contributions in class.
The final grade will reflect your performance on these writing assignments as well as your class participation. The grade rewards consistency of performance and is weighted for improvement.
Readings preceded by an asterisk (*) are on reserve at Magill Library.
Aug 31: Introduction: Gender and Sexuality as Categories of Historical Analysis
Sept. 2: *Scott, “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?”
Sept 7/9 The Sexual Politics of the Renaissance
First paper due on Friday 8 October 2004 by 4: 00 PM.
Oct 19/21 Gendering the Crown
Oct 26/28 The Roles of Women
Nov 9/11 Theories of Sex and Sexuality II
Nov 23 Rousseau, Emile, (pp. 35-74)
History Department, Haverford College | 370 Lancaster Ave. | Haverford,
PA 19041 | (610) 896 -1075
Last Updated July 10, 2002