The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe

ISBN : 9780198779384

Judith M. Bennett; Ruth Mazo Karras
640 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Oct 2016
Oxford Handbooks
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The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe provides a comprehensive overview of the gender rules encountered in Europe in the period between approximately 500 and 1500 C.E. The essays collected in this volume speak to interpretative challenges common to all fields of women's and gender history - that is, how best to uncover the experiences of ordinary people from archives formed mainly by and about elite males, and how to combine social histories of lived experiences with cultural histories of gendered discourses and identities. The collection focuses on Western Europe in the Middle Ages but offers some consideration of medieval Islam and Byzantium. The Handbook is structured into seven sections: Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thought; law in theory and practice; domestic life and material culture; labour, land, and economy; bodies and sexualities; gender and holiness; and the interplay of continuity and change throughout the medieval period. It contains material from some of the foremost scholars in this field, and it not only serves as the major reference text in medieval and gender studies, but also provides an agenda for future new research.


1 Judith M. Bennett and Ruth Mazo Karras: Women, Gender, and Medieval Historians

Part I Gendered Thinking
2 Dyan Elliott: Gender and the Christian Traditions
3 Judith R. Baskin: Jewish Traditions about Women and Gender Roles: From Rabbinic Teachings to Medieval Practice
4 Jonathan P. Berkey: Women and Gender in Islamic Traditions
5 Amalie Foessel: The Political Traditions of Female Rulership in Medieval Europe
6 Katharine Park: Medicine and Natural Philosophy: Naturalistic Traditions

Part II Looking through the Law
7 Janet L. Nelson and Alice Rio: Women and Laws in Early Medieval Europe
8 Carol Lansing: Conflicts over Gender in Civic Courts
9 Marie A. Kelleher: Later Medieval Law in Community Context
10 Susan Mosher Stuard: Brideprice, Dowry, and Other Marital Assigns
11 Sara McDougall: Women and Gender in Canon Law

Part III Domestic Lives
12 Maryanne Kowaleski: Gendering Demographic Change in the Middle Ages
13 Katherine L. French: Genders and Material Culture
14 Elisheva Baumgarten: Gender and Daily Life in Jewish Communities
15 Rachel Stone: Carolingian Domesticities
16 Sarah Rees Jones: Public and Private Space and Gender in Medieval Europe
17 Jennifer Kolpacoff Deane: Pious Domesticities

Part IV Land, Labor, Economy
18 Sally McKee: Slavery
19 Kathryn Reyerson: Urban Economies
20 Jane Whittle: Rural Economies
21 Joanna H. Drell: Aristocratic Economies

Part V Bodies, Pleasures, Desires
22 Monica H. Green: Caring for Gendered Bodies
23 Kathryn M. Ringrose: The Byzantine Body
24 Helmut Puff: Same-Sex Possibilities
25 E. Jane Burns: Performing Courtliness

Part VI Engendering Christian Holiness
26 Lisa M. Bitel: Gender and the Initial Christianization of Northern Europe (to 1000 CE)
27 Albrecht Diem: The Gender of the Religious: Wo/men and the Invention of Monasticism
28 Fiona J. Griffiths: Women and Reform in the Central Middle Ages
29 Anneke B. Mulder-Bakker: Devoted Holiness in the Lay World
30 Miri Rubin: Cults of Saints
31 John H. Arnold: Heresy and Gender in the Middle Ages
32 Kathleen Ashley: Cultures of Devotion

Part VII Turning Points and Places
33 Kate Cooper: The Bride of Christ, the Male Woman, and the Female Reader in Late Antiquity
34 Constance H. Berman: Gender at the Medieval Millennium
35 Martha C. Howell: Gender in the Transition to Merchant Capitalism
36 Laura Stokes: Toward the Witch Craze
37 Roberta L. Krueger: Towards Feminism: Christine de Pizan, Female Advocacy, and Women's Textual Communities in the Late Middle Ages and Beyond

About the author: 

Judith M. Bennett teaches women's history and medieval history at the University of Southern California. She is the author of a number of books and articles on medieval women and on the feminist practice of history, as well as a popular textbook on medieval European history. ; Ruth Mazo Karras teaches history at the University of Minnesota. She is the author of five books and numerous articles in medieval history and the history of gender and sexuality. She is a co-editor of the journal Gender and History, General Editor of the Middle Ages Series at the University of Pennsylvania Press, and a former president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.

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