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Current Debates in Medieval and Early Modern European History II


Admission requirements

Relevant BA degree


The course is taught twice a year and only runs for six weeks. In these six weeks, two topics will be discussed – see the description below for the topics on offer.

In this course we will be examining current debates in the history of medieval and early modern Europe. Each students studies two topics over a period of six weeks.

Semester II weeks 1-3: Part I: Political Participation.

Email: Dr. Robert Stein

For two decades, Charles Tilly’s Coercion capital and the European states has dominated the discussion about state formation, (1992). In this epoch-making work, Tilly depicted a linear development from the high Middle Ages onwards towards an ever-more centralized state, regarding the political participation of the subjects as a side-note in history. Only in recent years, Tilly’s paradigm has been questioned from several sides, and more and more attention was drawn towards empowering interactions, to cite the title of a recent volume. The question if, and to what extent the subjects could influence the state formation during the Late Middle Ages will be discussed during this course.

Readings include:

  • C. Tilly, Coercion, capital, and European states, AD 990-1992 (Cambridge, Oxford 1992). Further reading TBA

Semester II, weeks 4-6: part II Women and power in early modern Europe

Email: Dr. Felicia Roșu

Early modern women lacked most of the rights enjoyed by their contemporary counterparts. However, they did not necessarily lack power. There were several ways in which women could be autonomous and/or exercise their influence on political and economic affairs in early modern European societies. At the same time, their position was neither uniform, nor static. It varied in time and space, and it was often contradicted by extraordinary individuals who set and upset trends across the continent, throughout the early modern period.

In our meetings, we will explore the following themes: a) the power of women in early modern Europe; b) the main scholarly debates related to that aspect of European history; and c) the methodological and theoretical implications of researching and writing women’s history.

Required reading:

  • Joan Kelly, Women, History, and Theory (1984)

Further reading (on library reserve or Blackboard)

  • Gisela Bock, Women in European History (2002) – pp. 1-31, 32-81, 256-264

  • Cissie Fairchilds, Women in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1700 (2007) – pp. 259-324
    Additional titles to be announced in class.


See here

Mode of instruction

Literature Seminar.

Assessment method

Students will be asked to prepare and sometimes to report in writing on the reading they do for the classes. They will also write a short essay or review article on each of the two topics they study.



Reading list

See above.


via uSis.

Contact information

Email: Prof.dr. J.F.J. Duindam