Disruptions and continuities in gender roles and authority, 1450-1750

Numerous sixteenth and seventeenth-century treatises and conduct books promoted patriarchal ideals of female submissiveness and male domination. But in recent years, scholars have begun to question whether the stereotypical image of early modern women as ‘chaste, silent, and obedient’ before the unquestioned male authority figure ever quite tallied with actual experience, with men’s patriarchal authority depicted as hard-fought and contingent in other types of sources and spirited or ‘masculine’ women objects of ambivalent interest. Equally in question is whether we should conceive of the early modern period as a continuum in terms of gender roles, or emphasise the destabilising effect of events like the English Civil War or other conflicts in challenging and disrupting them, whether temporarily or as a driver of more permanent social change.

The aim of this conference is act as an interdisciplinary forum for consideration of the arguments surrounding such issues.

Keynote speaker

  • Professor Ann Hughes (Keele University)

Call for Papers

Please submit proposals of 250-300 words for papers of no more than 20 minutes to Dr Fiona McCall, Senior Lecturer in History, School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature, University of Portsmouth, by Friday 24 April 2020

This conference is hosted by the Disrupted Authority research project.

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