Revisiting Gender in European History 1400-1800

Almost exactly thirty years ago, Joan W. Scott, in a widely cited article, advocated the use of gender as a tool of historical analysis. Since then, many studies have used gender to consider the past. However, rather than developing new theories of gender that describe early modern contexts, historians often either avoid theory entirely or use gender theories which derive from particularly modern, political contexts. This book revisits the concept of gender within European History, 1400-1800. In the interest of cross-fertilization between gender and history, a selection of chapters proposes to engage with major nodes and concepts within gender theories and European history. This volume integrates contemporary theories of gender while also interrogating their relevance and their challenges when applied to different spaces and time spans. Finally, it highlights how medieval and early modern historians have contributed to strengthen, develop and theorize further the concept of gender, and what possibilities remain.

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