History 532: Theme Seminar on Gender, Religion and Modernity

This is one of the theme seminars in the Doctoral program of the Department of History.  It is open to all doctoral students and MA students in the History program.  All others, including MAT students, must have the instructor’s permission to enroll.

The readings will include a mixture of thematic, theoretical and geographically focused texts.  Most of our readings will derive from European history and from the Christian experience, modern and early modern, but there will be several readings that focus on East Asia, North America, Latin America, Russia (my area of specialization), Islam and Judaism.  Students from all of the department’s fields of concentration are welcome to enroll.

Each week will have a body of common readings that will form the basis of our discussion.  In addition, each student will select one week’s theme and develop a bibliography of supplementary readings that connect that theme to the student’s area(s) of interest.  That bibliography will form the basis of a historiographic or bibliographic essay (approximately 15-20 pp.) that each of you will write, due on the final class meeting.  You are encouraged to work with your advisor in developing the bibliography.

There will be at least two other-and much shorter-writing assignments, in which you will be asked to apply some of the ideas raised in the readings to brief documents that I will distribute in class.

BOOKS:

Natalie Davis, WOMEN ON THE MARGINS

Marilyn Westerkamp, WOMEN AND RELIGION IN EARLY AMERICA

Miriam Peskowitz, SPINNING FANTASIES: RABBIS, GENDER, AND HISTORY

Calum G. Brown, THE DEATH OF CHRISTIAN ENGLAND

Irene Silverblatt, MOON, SUN, AND WITCHES: GENDER IDEOLOGIES AND CLASS IN INCA AND COLONIAL PERU

Carolyn Bynum, FRAGMENTATION AND REDEMPTION; ESSAYS ON GENDER AND THE HUMAN BODY IN MEDIEVAL RELIGION