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Handbooks Courses Units

RLM4060 - Medieval Women and Their World: Constructing Identities 1100-1450

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Constant Mews


Clayton First semester 2008 (Day)


This unit looks at the way a range of medieval women (like Heloise, Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, and Christine de Pizan), shaped and performed their identity through visionary and scholarly writing, and thus helped transform conventional themes in theology, literature and art, 1100-1450. The unit will explore the ways in which women sought to transform both secular and religious understanding of their own identity, and thus to question received ideas about gender, religion and ethics.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Reflect critically on historiography relating to gender and religion in the medieval period.

  1. Gain familiarity with the literary achievement of a range of women writers and visionaries in medieval Europe.

  1. Acquire research skills in analysing and contextualising the thought of at least two women writers.

  1. Gain expertise in relating literature to visual representations in the period.


Essay (7000 words): 60%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week


RLT4400, RLM5060

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