SO/HS/GS 325 - Family and Gender in Medieval and Early Modern Italy
Since ancient Roman times up to Early Modern Italy, gender determined an individual’s life and career as much as social class or economic status. Career options for men lay in the public domain, where personal networks were as important as education and training, while women, regardless of class, had one “career” – marriage: the option of nunnery for women will start much later, due to economic shifts. This course look at the family as a social institution where individuals, both men and women, were legally subordinated in different ways to their father’s authority, and their social behaviors were strictly controlled by the society. At the same time, if they behaved ‘correctly’, they were given protection and freedom. The course also considers some alternative, personal or professional life strategies, far from ‘correct’ behaviors, which evolved during these times. The aim is to give students a cultural, social and historical approach to an intriguing topic from different but interrelated points of view.