HST246: Gender, Culture and Society: Britain, 1689-1837

20 credits (semester 2 - 2017-18) (semester 1 - 2018-19)

Module Leader: Dr Kate Davison & Dr Erin Maglaque



Pass in at least two of the Level One modules History Units HST112-121.


Module Summary

This module will give students the chance to consider one of the most important, exciting and original areas of recent historical research: gender. The module aims to encourage students to consider broad questions and theories about gender history through one specific context: Britain between the years 1689-1837. It was during this period that Britain was transformed from an early-modern to a modern nation. Students will explore the comparative experiences of men and women during a series of momentous developments, including the Enlightenment, the industrial revolution, the emergence of a class society, the emergence of popular participation as a significant feature in political life, and the development of the ideology of separate spheres. The module will thus enable students to assess the part played by gender in the emergence of 'modern' British society. Students will be encouraged to explore how a focus on gender encourages new interpretations of the key economic, political, social and cultural developments of this period.


Teaching and Assessment

The module will be taught through one weekly lecture and one weekly seminar. Lectures will cover topics such as gender history, masculinity, sexuality and the body, courtship and marriage, family and household, religion, work, politics, culture, and separate spheres. Seminars will discuss related issues such as homosexuality and lesbianism, prostitution, childbirth and parenthood, industrialization, crime and riot, and consumption and leisure.

Further guidance is provided in the module course booklet, available through MOLE.

Information on assessment can be found at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/history/current_students/undergraduate/assessment/level2


Selected Reading

  • Hannah Barker and Elaine Chalus (eds), Women's history: Britain 1700-1850 (Routledge, 2005) [the most recent collection of essays introducing many of the topics we cover] (recommended)
  • Robert Shoemaker, Gender in English Society, 1650-1850: The Emergence of Separate Spheres? (London, 1998) [an accessible textbook which considers the key narrative of gender history of this period] (recommended)
  • Amanda Vickery, The Gentlemans Daughter: Women's Lives in Georgian England (London, 1998) [an awarding-winning good read which engages with some key debates and conveys the flavour of the period] (recommended)
  • Hannah Barker and Elaine Chalus (eds.), Gender in Eighteenth-Century England: Roles, Representations and Responsibilities (London, 1997) [a useful collection of chapters]
  • L. Davidoff and C. Hall, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850 (London, 1987; 2002) [a classic statement of change at the end of our period]
  • Anthony Fletcher, Gender, Sex, and Subordination in England, 1500-1800 (London, 1995) [an accessible statement of dominant historiographical views]
  • Bridget Hill, Eighteenth-Century Women: An Anthology (London, 1984) [a useful collection of primary documents]
  • Tim Hitchcock, English Sexualties, 1700-1800 (Basingstoke, 1997) [a very accessible synthesis of the important work on the body and sexuality]
  • Vivien Jones, Women in the Eighteenth-Century: Constructions of Femininity (London, 1990) [a useful collection of primary documents]


Intended Learning Outcomes
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