School: Social Sciences
Academic Unit: Social Anthropology and History
Level of studies: Postgraduate
Course code: GCS-3 Semester: 2st
Course Title: Gender, Body and “Race” in Early Modern Europe
Independent teaching activities Weekly teaching hours Credits
3 10
Course type: Special background
Prerequisite courses: All courses of the first semester.
Language of instruction and examinations: Greek
Is the course offered to erasmus students: Νο
Course website (Url): 


    Learning outcomes: Students will be able to understand the historicity of the course’s major topics and to use them as categories of historical study. Students will be able to problematize gender, body and race as culturally specific concepts and to deepen their knowledge on the social and cultural practices of early modern European societies. The course will familiarize students with historiography, methodology and interpretive traditions. Students will be able to recognize the complexity that historical knowledge involves and how the present conditions historical research. Finally students will be able to conduct bibliographical research and develop writing skills.

    General Competences: 
    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.
    Criticism and self-criticism.
    Production of free, creative and inductive thinking.

    (3) SYLLABUS

    This course examines gender, the body and “race” as sites for the production of otherness in the premodern West (15th-18th century). Drawing on the lively debates on women’s and gender history the course seeks to historicize gender discourse and gendered experience in the shifting social and cultural landscape of early modern Europe. In relation with the construction of the gendered subject, the course studies the body as a metaphor or as a site where emerging discourses and technologies of power were inscribed and exercised. Finally, on the basis of recent historiography on the formation of racial discourse and modernity, the production of racial theories in the 18th century and the 19th-century scientific racialism the course delves into “race’s” “premodern” past and its intersection with gender and the body, as a culturally and historically constructed taxonomy. Main fields of study are the movements of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the new disciplinary discourses and practice, state formation, medical and scientific discourse, the power of “ethnographic” observation and European expansion. Historiography, methodology and interpretive perspectives are firmly grounded in material such as normative texts, archival sources, literature and visual images.


    Delivery: Face-to face
    Use of information and communications technology : Use of ICT in teaching and communication with students.
    Teaching methods:  Activity Semester workload
    Lectures 39
    Personal study 190
    Essay writing 21
    Course total: 250
    Student performance evaluation: Language of evaluation: Greek.
    Evaluation consists of oral presentations and written work.


    Suggested bibliography:

    Lyndal Roper, The Holy Household. Women and Morals in Reformation Augsburg, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
    Tim Hitchcock and Michele Cohen (eds), English Masculinities, 1660-1800, London: Longman, 1999.
    Thomas Laqueur, Κατασκευάζοντας το Φύλο. Σώμα και κοινωνικό φύλο από τους αρχαίους Έλληνες έως τον Φρόιντ, Αθήνα: Πολύτροπον, 2003.
    Laura Gowing, Common Bodies. Women, Touch and Power in Seventeenth-Century England, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003
    Michel Feher, et al. (eds), Fragments for a History of the Human Body, 3 vols, New York: Zone, 1989.
    Margaret Greer, et al. (eds), Rereading the Black Legend. The Discourses of Religious and Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
    Kenneth Borris and George Rousseau (eds), The Sciences of Homosexuality in Early Modern Europe, London: Routledge, 2007.
    Judith Brown and Robert Davis (eds), Gender and Society in Renaissance Italy, London: Longman, 1998.
    Kim Hall, Things of Darkness: Economies of Race and Gender in Early Modern England, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1995
    Carrera Magali, Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003.

    Related academic journals:

    Gender and History
    Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies
    Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies
    GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies
    Journal of the History of Sexuality
    Renaissance Studies
    Sixteenth Century Journal
    History Workshop Journal