HST2506: Medieval Women

20 credits (semester 1)

Module Leader: Máirín MacCarron


Module Summary

Women have always constituted half the human population, but until recently – and in fact still often today – history has been taught and written almost as if everyone was male. This wide-ranging course takes a very different approach, exploring the Middle Ages instead through the ​eyes of ​women​. From queens to nuns, from pilgrims to visionaries,​ from peasant women to female urban traders,​ women in the Middle Ages exercised power, made choices and took decisions that affected all society. Through a series of intriguing case studies,​ drawing on a wide range of sources including documents produced by women themselves, art, and archaeology,​ and building on a rich historiography, this course opens up the 'other half' of medieval history​. It sheds light not only on gender relations​ and familiar women's history topics such as​​ ​sexuality and the​ family​, but also on themes that affected the lives of both women and men in the Middle Ages, such as invasions, disease, religious devotion, mobility, and social and economic inequality.


To follow.

Teaching and Assessment

The module will be assessed in part by a 2,500 word essay based largely on secondary sources, which will allow you to advance your understanding of aspects of the module in more detail, to develop skills of analysis and argument, and to improve their writing. Formative feedback will offer advice on how to improve for the forthcoming summative assessment. A written examination will require you to demonstrate that they have absorbed and understood the material and that they can express this in clear prose and a structured argument.

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

Suggested Reading

To follow.

Intended Learning Outcomes
Plus Icon