School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Undergraduate
Course code: H-238 Semester: 7th
Course Title: Gender and Sex in Premodern Europe
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
Lectures 3 6
Course type: Special background, specialized knowledge
Prerequisite courses: None
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: Yes
Course website (Url): /


    Learning outcomes: 

    Students will be able to understand gender and sex as categories of historical analysis for the premodern period and appreciate their historical specificity. Specifically, students will be able to contextualize historical events, recognise long-term processes and focus on specific events, conduct bibliographical research, assess changes in historical perspective, reassess historical knowledge, recognise the complexity that historical knowledge involves, organize historical knowledge from the perspective of other relevant fields of study and realize how the present conditions historical research.

    General Competences: 

    The course’s aims are:
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking
    Criticism and self-criticism
    Search for, analysis and synthesis of data and information
    Working independently
    Respect for difference and multiculturalism
    Showing social, professional and ethical responsibility and sensitivity to gender issues

    (3) SYLLABUS

    The course explores the historicity of gender and sex and their relevance as categories of historical analysis for the period from the 14th to the 18th centuries. The course examines the formation of the premodern gender and sexual system as a complex web of norms, expectations, practices and performances. Initially, students are being familiarized with diverse interpretive perspectives that have been adopted in the fields of women’s and gender history, the history of the body and the history of sexuality. Subsequently, the course explores the ways premodern societies conceptualized “femininities” and “masculinities”, sexual practices and “normalities”. The late-medieval and early-modern gender and sexual economy is approached through the transitions that those societies witnessed, for instance the growth of bureaucratic apparatuses and criminalization of certain aspects of everyday life, the rise of domesticity with the consolidation of religious reform movements and the development of mercantile capitalism, the colonial projects which became sites for inventing and practicing “European” sexualities. Finally, in exploring practices and ideals of premodern European societies through the categories of gender and sex the course seeks to familiarize students with the use of archival, printed and visual material.


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of ITC in teaching
    Use of ITC in communication with students
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures 39
    Study and analysis of bibliography and sources 45
    Class participation 10
    Exam preparation 60
    Course total: 154
    Student performance evaluation: Final examination open-ended questions, class participation, non-compulsory essay.


    Suggested bibliography:

    Bibliography in Greek:
    Βασιλειάδου Δ., Γιαννιτσιώτης Γ., Διαλέτη Α., Πλακωτός Γ. (επιμ.), Ανδρισμοί. Αναπαραστάσεις, υποκείμενα και πρακτικές από τη μεσαιωνική μέχρι τη σύγχρονη περίοδο, Αθήνα, Gutenberg, 2019.
    Hufton O., Ιστορία των γυναικών στην Ευρώπη (1500-1800), Αθήνα, Νεφέλη, 2003 [α΄ έκδοση στα αγγλικά, 1997]
    Laqueur T., Κατασκευάζοντας το φύλο. Σώμα και κοινωνικό φύλο από τους αρχαίους Έλληνες έως τον Φρόιντ, Αθήνα, Πολύτροπον, 2003 [α΄ έκδοση στα αγγλικά, 1990]
    Levine P. (επιμ), Φύλο και Αυτοκρατορία, Αθήνα, Πεδίο, 2016 [α΄ έκδοση στα αγγλικά, 2004]
    Muchembled R., Ο οργασμός και η Δύση: Ιστορίες της σαρκικής απόλαυσης από τον 16ο αιώνα ως την εποχή μας, Αθήνα, Μεταίχμιο, 2007 [α΄ έκδοση στα γαλλικά, 2005]
    Porter R. και Teich M. (επιμ.), Σεξουαλικότητα, γνώση και επιστήμη. Ιστορία στάσεων και αντιλήψεων για τη σεξουαλικότητα, Αθήνα, Πολύτροπον, 2008 [α΄ έκδοση στα αγγλικά, 1994]

    English bibliography:
    Crawford K., European Sexualities, 1400-1800, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press., 2007
    Hitchcock T. και Cohen Μ. (επιμ.), English Masculinities, 1660-1800, Νέα Υόρκη, Longman, 1999
    Karras R., Sexuality in Medieval Europe: Doing Unto Others, Λονδίνο, Routledge, 2012
    Phillips K. και Reay B., Sex before Sexuality: A Premodern History, Cambridge, Polity, 2011
    Roper L., Oedipus and the Devil. Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early Modern Europe, Λονδίνο, Routledge, 1994.
    Wiesner M., Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe, Νέα Υόρκη, Cambridge University Press, 2005

    – Related academic journals:
    Gender and History
    Journal of the History of Sexuality
    Journal of Women’s History
    History Workshop Journal
    Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society