The Newberry Library is offering a graduate seminar on “Gender, Bodies, and the Body Politic in Medieval Europe” in Fall 2016.
Northern Illinois University is a consortium member of the Newberry Library. This status allows graduate students at Northern Illinois and other consortium universities to enroll in Newberry seminars for credit at their home institutions.
This seminar is a great opportunity for graduate students interested in religious history, gender history, and the history of political culture.
The Newberry Library’s announcement reads:
Fall 2016 Ten-Week Graduate Seminar
Gender, Bodies, and the Body Politic in Medieval Europe
2-5 pm Thursdays, September 29 to December 8
Led by Tanya Stabler Miller, Loyola University Chicago
Details and online application: https://www.newberry.org/09292016-gender-bodies-and-body-politic-medieval-europe
This seminar will examine the relationship between gender, sex differences, and politics-defined broadly-in medieval Europe, exploring the ways in which systems of power mapped onto perceived sex differences and bolstered, reproduced, or authenticated those systems. Through a close reading of political treatises, sermons, mystical literature, and church decrees, participants will evaluate the ways in which gendered discourses supported or weakened institutional, political, and religious authority, even in situations that seemingly had nothing to do with “real” women. Thus, investigations will move beyond “exceptional” women who exercised political power (for example royal and noblewomen), illuminating the effects of gendered symbols and discourses on institutions or spaces from which real women were increasingly marginalized (for example royal authority) or completely excluded (for example the medieval university). In this way, this seminar will take up the challenge of Joan Scott’s influential historiographical essay “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis.” Nevertheless, we will not lose sight of the effects gendered constructs and discourses had on real women, nor the specific strategies women employed to manipulate or subvert the systems and institutions that limited their agency.
Prerequisites: None, although the instructor prefers that students work with texts that they can read in the original language whenever possible.
For all these programs, students from Center for Renaissance Studies consortium schools ( http://www.newberry.org/center-renaissance-studies-consortium-members) have priority, in accordance with the consortium agreement. Fees are waived for students from consortium institutions. Such students may be eligible to apply for travel funds to attend ( http://www.newberry.org/newberry-renaissance-consortium-grants). Each member university sets its own policies, limitations, and deadlines, and some may limit eligibility to certain departments or units within the institution; contact your Representative Council member in advance for details.