Premodern History and Art through the Prism of Gender in East-Central Europe is a representative collection of current Czech research in premodern history and art history, using gender as a tool of analysis. The common denominators of the texts collected in this volume are the art history of the premodern period, gender perspectives, and, to a certain degree, the Czech milieu. The book is divided into four parts, based on area of interest, time frame, and research perspective. The first part sheds light on the state of research in the field of women's history—along with the implementation of the concept of gender—and highlights a certain paradigmatic conservatism of Czech art historiography. The second gathers contributions that analyze visual sources of Czech origin. The third includes texts that analyze gender issues on the level of literary representation. The final part presents two case studies that involve analysis of the premodern West European source base. Rywiková and Malaníková present this volume as an innovative way to introduce this specific segment of Central European art history to a broader audience in global academia.
Michaela Antonín Malaníková is assistant professor of medieval history at Palacký University Olomouc.
Daniela Rywiková is assistant professor of art history at the University of Ostrava.
List of Figures
Part I: Women and Gender in Czech Medieval History
Foreword: Gender Trouble in Czech Medieval History Scholarship
Introduction: Premodern History and Art through the Prism of Gender
Michaela Antonín Malaníková and Daniela Rywiková
Chapter 1: Women's History and Gender History as Part of Czech Medieval Studies
Michaela Antonín Malaníková
Part II: Gender Identity through the Prism of Visual Arts
Chapter 2: Medieval Art in the Czech Lands through the Prism of Gender: The Visual Culture of Royal Nunneries in Medieval Bohemia and Moravia
Chapter 3: Kunigunde – ‘ Bartered Bride’ and ‘Bride of Christ’
Jennifer Vlček Shurr
Chapter 4: Gender in Czech Secular Art of the Late Middle Ages
Part III: Gendering the Medieval Literature
Chapter 5: Women as Men and Men as Women? Gender Roles in Anglo-Saxon Literature Reversed
Chapter 6: Gendered Body Politics and the Construction of Czech Historical Memory
Chapter 7: Reading About Men and for Men: Daughters Against Fathers, Violence and Wisdom in One Medieval Manuscript
Part IV: Midwives and Lovers: Two Pre-modern Case Studies
Chapter 8: Why Do We Not Hear the Praise of Skilful Women Who Are Writing Books About It?” Early Modern Obstetric Manuals from the German Speaking Regions from a Gender Perspective
Hana Jadrná Matějková
Chapter 9: Benedetta Carlini, Catalina Erauso, and Catharina Margareta Linck: Stories of Love between Women from the Sixteenth Century to the Early Eighteenth Century
About the Contributors
A fascinating and inspiring collection of contributions by Czech scholarship on gender issues in medieval and early modern history, visual and literary culture. The book will be a model for any future studies in the Central European research environment referring to questions about gendered identities and the relation between women and men in the past.
This politically courageous collection of essays showcases the exciting work being conducted on premodern women and gender by young Czech scholars, helpfully opening up this material to an English-speaking audience. The focus is on central Europe and the contributors draw on an interesting range of sources, with particular attention paid to visual culture.
The volume presents genuinely innovative applications of gender and is by no means just an accumulation of facts from the field of women’s history. However, the individual studies differ in their analytical depth... Moreover, the book enables scholars worldwide to keep their finger on the pulse of current research in Czech historiography, represented by the work of authors who have recognized the importance of gender in research in premodern history. The book’s key intention—to present a specific segment of central European history and scholarship to global academia— thus seems to have been successfully fulfilled.