Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why and How Gender Matters: The Concept(s) of Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern World

During the latest decades, the questions, problems and theoretizations of gender history have become more nuanced. It has become clear that special attention is needed for studying gender history of medieval and early modern world. The central focus of the symposium is to test and verify the methodology and use the concept of gender specifically applicable to the period of great change and transition, often failed to be seen by scholars as an independent item. Late medieval period (14th and 15th centuries) is often lost in the shadow of humanism and Renaissance coming while 17th century is observed as something in between Renaissance and the Age of Reason. Geography of change is quite important as well, as in different parts of the European continent changes happened within distinct cultural, social and political contexts. It is these contexts the organizers try to bring together to see whether one universal gender concept should and might be applied cross boundaries and times.
Understanding the multifaceted aspects of gender, gendered positions and access to knowledge and power in medieval and early modern times will ultimately help to see even the present day gender positions as historically and culturally defined, not universal or monolithic. However, medieval and early modern period has too often been neglected by gender historians. The aim of the symposium is to help to increase the awareness of the significance of the field and challenge the still persistent assumption of medieval and early modern women simply as victims of misogynist thought.
The conference aims at dialogue between the scholars and researchers of different age/era, culture and discipline background. We especially encourage younger scholars to participate in our discussion.
See the program at:
Ms. Kirsi Reyes
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
University of Helsinki
Fabianinkatu 24a
Visit the website at