GER 218

Medieval Gender Politics: Wicked Queens, Holy Women, Warrior Saints

Fall 2023
T Th
3:00 pm - 4:20 pm

Is there a historical basis for the fierce ladies of ‘Game of Thrones’? Why do modern depictions of medieval queens portray them as wickedly ambitious? In a variety of texts about the villainy and sanctity, eloquence and wit, humility and power of women—both real and imagined—this course will explore the long history of negative reactions to leading women, the multiple strategies by means of which such figures have asserted various kinds of authority, as well as what they have suffered in consequence. By unraveling the complex gender and power dynamics of the past we will also develop a better understanding of such issues in the present.