Medieval Women in the Celtic-Speaking West

University of Galway

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Medieval Women in the Celtic-Speaking West

  • Host University

    University of Galway

  • Location

    Galway, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    English, European Studies, History, Literature, Poetry, Sociology, Women's and Gender Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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

    This module concerns the status, roles and representation of women in medieval Irish and Welsh society. In broad strokes, the position of medieval women in the Celtic-speaking West will be introduced in relation to that of their contemporaries in Frankish, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon societies. The primary materials for the study of medieval women in the Celtic-speaking West are law tracts, literary texts (both prose and poetry), historical texts and didactic writings, the originals of which were written in Irish, Welsh and Latin, and a selection of the most important of these will be read in translation.
    The main topics to be addressed are:

    • the legal status of women in the different Celtic-speaking societies, both the relative status of different categories of women, and their status relative to that of males.
    • marriage and other kinds of union, and their dissolution;
    • prominent female roles in secular society and the church (including that of queens, holy women, and women believed to have supernatural powers);
    • the life-cycle of women;
    • factors that wrought change in the status of women in medieval Irish and Welsh society
    • Consideration will be given to the construction of femininities and masculinities in various genres of writing in the medieval Irish and Welsh vernaculars, and in medieval Latin.
    • Learning outcomes:
    • Knowledge of an important historical topic.
    • Familiarity with a range of medieval Irish and Welsh sources, specifically those concerning the status, roles and representations of women.
    • An understanding of gender as a construct.
    • Essay writing skills, including the use of a range of literary and editorial conventions.

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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