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   Course Title    Russia in the International Relations after the Cold War
Lecturer    Snezhana Rogach
Institution    European Humanities University
Country    Belarus


The aim of the course is

  • To explore how and why women’s social and historical experience was excluded from the view of the "traditional" (male) history,

  • To show the example of European Middle Ages gender approach to history,

  • To reveal origins of the main prejudices concerned of women,

  • To illuminate basic aspects of women’s socio-legal status and women’s everyday life, as well as the issue of cross-sex relationships in Medieval Europe.

The course will be taught through lectures, class discussions and seminars. Students will write a final essay on any one of the provided readings (or on one article from a collection of readings). Exam questions will include lectures, seminars and readings.

Main topics of the course:

  1. Introduction

Women’s history in feminist interpretations.

Basic aspects of the status of women in the Middle Ages.

Origins of the following prejudices:

  • Imperfect nature of woman; her eternal sinness and guilt (woman as "eternal Eve");

  • Women as less capable for sciences as compared to men;

  • Ncessity of men’s control upon women;

  • Christian conception of women;

  • Women’s natural predestination (to bear children and to take care of her husband).

  1. Socio-Legal Status

  • Place of noble women in feudal structure (European experience, specifics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania);

  • Distinctive features of the life of urban women, of women-peasants, of marginal elements (prostitutes);

  • Medieval law on the status of women (customary law, European codes of laws, Statutes of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania);

  • Participation of women in medieval public life.

  1. Family and Marriage in the Life of Medieval Women

  • Upbringing and education of girls in noble families;

  • Matrimonial practice in medieval Western Europe and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (general features, similarities and differences);

  • Everyday life of married women (responsibilities, position in the family, birth of children, household management).

  1. The Problem of Cross-Sex Relationships among the Nobles and Middle Classes in Medieval Europe

  • Sex in marriage;

  • Concubinage and adultery;

  • Deviant forms of sexual behaviour (rape, visiting prostitutes, homosexual relationship);

  • Courteous relations ("fine amour") in Western Europe, and its influence on Eastern Europe.

  1. Summary and Conclusions.

All readings are provided by the instructor, both in English and Russian (or Belarusian).

  1. Becoming Visible. Women in European History. Ed. By R.Bridenthal, C.Koonz, and S.Stuard.

  2. A History of Women. Silences of the Middle Ages. Vol.2. Ed. by Ch.Klapisch-Zuber.

  3. Miles, R. The Women’s History of the World.

  4. Duby G. Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages.

  5. Riley, D. Does a Sex Have a History? // Feminism and History. Ed. by J.W.Scott.

  6. Women’s Lives in Medieval Europe. A Sourcebook. Ed. by E.Amt.

  7. Women and Writing in Medieval Europe. A Sourcebook. Ed. by C.Larrington.

The rest of the readings are in Russian or Belarusian.





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