Aristocratic Women in Medieval Europe 500-1250

University of Galway

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Aristocratic Women in Medieval Europe 500-1250

  • Host University

    University of Galway

  • Location

    Galway, Ireland

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Students may only take one History Colloquia/Seminar. Spaces are limited.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Often on the basis of texts written by women, this seminar examines the diverse lived experiences and multiple contributions of aristocratic women in medieval society, politics & religious life, c.500-1250. Whilst acknowledging the prevailing antifeminism of the age, emphasis is nonetheless placed on the complex & changing figurings of gender in these centuries, as well as on the domestic core of much political activity that allowed aristocratic women to play important 'public' roles. Women to be examined in some detail might include Radegund, Dhuoda, Hrotsvita of Gandersheim, Adela of Blois, Heloise, Hildegard of Bingen and various countesses & queens.

    By the end of this seminar, students should be able to:
    - Compile and format a bibliography of primary and secondary sources for an aspect of the history of aristocratic women in medieval European society.
    - Summarise the historiography on aristocratic women in medieval Euroepan society and evaluate conflicting views with reference to primary sources.
    - Communicate an historical argument orally.
    - Carry out a substantial independent research project based on primary sources about aristocratic women in medieval European society and present findings in a scholarly manner.
    -Critique widely held myths about aristorcatic women in medieval European society with reference to contemporary evidence and established facts.

    Several required primary sources are in a course booklet to be purchased.
    Required secondary literature will in part be drawn from selected articles in collections like:
    D. Baker, ed., _Medieval Women_ (1978)
    M. Erler & M. Kowaleski, eds., _Women and Power in the Middle Ages_, 1st ed. (1988)
    B. Newman, _From Virile Woman to WomanChrist_ (1995)
    T. Evergates, ed., _Aristorcratic Women in Medieval France_ (Philadelphia, 1999)
    C. Meek & C. Lawless, ed., _Studies on Medieval & Early Modern Women 4: Victims or
    Viragos?_ (Dublin, 2005)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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