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Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Kvinnor och genus i det tidigmoderna Europa

This syllabus is valid: 2016-10-03 and until further notice

Course code: 1HI071

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: Second cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: History: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Established by: Head of Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, 2016-09-14


This course examines the lives, experiences, statues and perceptions of women in premodern Europe from different perspectives – economic, social, political, religious and cultural. Themes addressed include the family, working life, education, crime, witchcraft, and politics. In this course, we explore the complex of material, political, and cultural factors that shaped experiences of gender and family as well as attitudes about gender and power in early modern Europe. The course covers the period from 1500 to 1800, as well as several geographical regions. Women's experiences are compared to men's - whether as workers, consumers, criminals, political actors, peasants or nobles, spouses or parents. This course offers a unique entry to foundational historical categories and methods. Students will gain knowledge of concepts critical to historical debate in a variety of approaches to history.

Expected learning outcomes

After having completed the course the students will show:

Knowledge and understanding:
•    Comprehensive knowledge about the history of women and gender relations in early modern Europe.
•    Comprehensive knowledge about different scholarly interpretations of women experiences and gender dynamics.
•    Comprehensive knowledge about the evolution of women’s experiences and changes pertaining to gender throughout the early modern period.
•    Comprehensive knowledge about how key concepts such as gender, sex, patriarchy, witchcraft, marital status, and empowerment, have been defined and how these definitions have been argued for.

Skills and abilities:
•    An ability to explain and critique the historical schools of thought that have shaped scholarly understanding of gender and women’s history.  
•    An ability to discuss and assess different justifications, key concepts (such as gender, sex, patriarchy, witchcraft, marital status, and empowerment), and arguments for describing women’s experiences and gender relations.
•    An ability to formulate these learning outcomes clearly in speech and/or writing.
•    An ability to deploy skills of critical analysis

Assessment and attitude:
•    An ability to independently formulate and analyze a scholarly problem in relation to the wider topic of the course.

Required Knowledge

90 ECTS courses in history, history of science and ideas, economic history, or a Bachelors degree (180 ECTS), or the equivalent. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A (IELTS (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 5.5 and no individual score below 5.0. TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) with a minimum total score of 530 and a minimum TWE score of 4. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) with a minimum total score of 72 and a minimum score of 17 on the Writing Section). Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.


Form of instruction

Instruction consists of self-governed reading and analysis of the course literature governed and structured by reading instructions, online lectures, study queries and written assignments which will be made available through the course’s web-based learning platform.

Students are required to have access to a computer and a stable internet connection.

Examination modes

The examination consists of individual written assignments. Assignments are written in English.
The examination of the course will consist of seminars and written individual assignments.

On the course as a whole, the grades given are Fail (U), Pass (G), or Pass with Distinction (VG). In order to pass the course as a whole, all mandatory parts must be passed as well. The final grade of the course is a summary assessment of the results and decided only after all mandatory parts are passed. A student who has passed an examination may not be re-examined.
For students who do not pass the regular examination there is another opportunity to do the examination within two months and a third opportunity within one year. 
A student who has failed two examinations for a course or segment of a course, has the right to have another examiner appointed. Requests for new examiners are made to the Faculty of Humanities.

Academic credit transfer
Transfer of credits is handled by Student Services/Degree Evaluation Office. See