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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:

Email: Dr. Donald Haks

Email: Dr. Robert Stein

Public sphere

The public sphere, the place where people can meet and freely discuss matters of common interest and their views with regard to government, is nowadays a given. It forms a vital element of modern democracy. Yet its existence wasn’t limited to contemporary times, its roots can be traced back to early modern times and beyond. The development and use of the public sphere, by princes, authorities and burghers is subject of a vivid scholarly debate: How was it used to display and communicate messages concerning the public interest? Is it possible to determine what the meaning of the public sphere was for society and politics? In this course, the arguments and outcome of this debate will be discussed.

Semester II, weeks 4-6: part II:

Email: Dr. Felicia Roșu

Women and power in early modern Europe

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 options, rights, and power (or lack thereof) of women in early modern Europe; b) the main scholarly debates related to those issues; and c) the methodological and theoretical implications of researching and writing women’s and gender history.


See here.

Mode of instruction

Literature Seminar.

Course Load

  • Seminars (2 hours per week during 6 weeks), 12 hours.

  • Study of compulsory literature, 60 hours.

  • Preparation oral presentation, 80 hours.

  • Writing of essay/review article, 120 hours.

Assessment method

  • Participation in discussion: 25% final mark.

  • (Oral) Presentation short paper: 25% final mark.

  • Final written essay/review article: 50% final mark.

(note that this may differ somewhat between the two parts of this course)


Blackboard is used for announcements and course documents.

Reading list

Will be made available before the summer recess in 2013.


via uSis.

Contact information

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


If only native speakers of Dutch participate, the course can be taught in Dutch.