PEERING THROUGH FROSTED GLASS: IMPRINTS AS SOURCES FOR WOMEN’S WORK

This post comes from Heleen Wyffels, who is a Ph. D. fellow of the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) and part of the Research Group for Early Modern History, KU Leuven. Her thesis is entitled: The printer’s widow: gender, family and editorial choices.

Heleen Wyffels, (KU Leuven)

[…] prynted now agayn at Antwerpe, by me wydowe of Christoffel of Endhoven In the yere of oure Lorde. M.CCCCC. and .xxxiiij. […]

At first sight, imprints like these are a dream source for every scholar doing research on early modern women’s work. They contain date and place of publication, and the printer and/or bookseller. In short, they provide information on the production of early modern books which makes it relatively easy to link products to producers. As the example shows, they even regularly mention widows. Catherine was the widow of Christoffel of Ruremund (also known as Christoffel of Endhoven), and published William Tyndale’s translation of the New Testament in Antwerp in 1534 and 1535.

Imprints can be a lot of fun too: not every printer wanted to be identifiable, especially not when printing illicit texts or images. They often pretended to be someone else, for example a colleague from another city, or they made something up. Books printed by “Common sense”, “Lucifer”, and “The printing house of the four chatterboxes who came down from the moon” are just a few examples that demonstrate inventive cheekiness and commentary on the printer’s part.[1]

Continue reading “PEERING THROUGH FROSTED GLASS: IMPRINTS AS SOURCES FOR WOMEN’S WORK”

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The Gender Pay Gap: an (Early) Modern Reality

This post on the value of household accounts as a source documenting the gender pay gap comes from Imogene Dudley, a current doctoral student at the University of Exeter and a member of the Women’s Work in Early Modern England project led by Professor Jane Whittle and funded by the Leverhulme Trust. She has a Master’s degree in Medieval History from St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, and a Bachelor’s degree in History from Swansea University. You can follow her on Twitter: @imogene_dudley

Imogene Dudley (University of Exeter)

Recently, an Australian café made headline news around the world by charging men 18% more in order to reflect the gender pay gap. Whilst many supported this move to open up the conversation about wage inequality, the café and its owner also attracted widespread opposition, with people branding it divisive and illegal. The BBC has also come under fire in recent weeks as it was revealed that its female stars are paid significantly less than their male counterparts. These are just two examples of the gender pay gap which have hit the headlines lately; one would have to live under a rock to have missed the rising visibility of this issue across mainstream and social media in the last several years.

It would come as a surprise to no-one that the gender pay gap is rooted firmly in our historical past. Hopefully, by studying this issue in relation to the past, we can begin to understand its presence in our own times. My doctoral research focuses on women’s work in the south-west of England from 1500 to 1700, looking at household account books to explore the gender division of labour, the effect of the life-cycle on women’s work and (you guessed it) women’s wages. Continue reading “The Gender Pay Gap: an (Early) Modern Reality”

Postdoctoral Research Associate Women, Property and Place in the World, 1500-1800

The School of Histories, Languages and Cultures at the University of Hull is looking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Associate for the project of Women, Property and Place in the World, 1500-1800.  This is a fixed term post for two years.

The central aim of the project is to investigate the institutional and structural underpinnings of social and gender inequalities in the English past. The post involves joint research and publication on land records and family papers (correspondence, diaries, wills, accounts, maps/surveys, enclosure records and estate papers); early-modern printed political and religious pamphlets; court, finance and litigation records. Additionally, the post will involve management of the existing website and Twitter account and mentoring doctoral students in the research cluster. The successful candidate will join an existing and vibrant team of academic, early-career and postgraduate researchers working in the Gender, Place and Memory 1400-1900 interdisciplinary Research Cluster at the University of Hull. The successful candidate will have completed a PhD in a cognate area of research, to include social and economic history, cultural history, historical geography, early-modern political thought and/or literature. It is desirebale that candidates will have experience working on early-modern English archival and/or printed texts.

For more information on how to apply see here: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BDD084/postdoctoral-research-associate-women-property-and-place-in-the-world-1500-1800/

To find out more about the Gender, Place and Memory 1400-1900 Research Cluster, its workshops, conferences and blog, see: [https://genderplaceandmemory.wordpress.com/].

To discuss this role informally, please contact the Principle Investigators: Dr Amanda Capern [a.l.capern@hull.ac.uk] or Briony McDonagh,[b.mcdonagh@hull.ac.uk].

New Publication: New Perspectives on European Women’s Legal History

This new addition to the  Routledge Research in Gender and History series will be of interest to many of our readers. Arranged in three parts, focusing on gender and family law, women in the legal professions and transnational and international intersections, it offers broad geographical and thematic coverage for a comparative perspective on women’s legal history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries:

New Perspectives on European Women’s Legal History, (Routledge, 2017)

This book integrates women’s history and legal studies within the broader context of modern European history in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Sixteen contributions from fourteen countries explore the ways in which the law contributes to the social construction of gender. They analyze questions of family law and international law and highlight the politics of gender in the legal professions in a variety of historical, social and national settings, including Eastern, Southern, Western, Northern and Central Europe. Focusing on different legal cultures, they show us the similarities and differences in the ways the law has shaped the contours of women and men’s lives in powerful ways. They also show how women have used legal knowledge to struggle for their equal rights on the national and transnational level. The chapters address the interconnectedness of the history of feminism, legislative reforms, and women’s citizenship, and build a foundation for a comparative vision of women’s legal history in modern Europe.

New Publication: Widows in European Economy and Society, 1600-1920

9781783271771_11Widows in European Economy and Society, (Boydell and Brewer, 2017)

This excellent new publication offers a fresh assessment of the role of widows in European society, tracing their economic activities across the early modern and modern world. Continue reading “New Publication: Widows in European Economy and Society, 1600-1920”

Leo Gershoy Award Winner 2016: Alexandra Shepard’s Accounting for Oneself:Worth, Status and the Social Order in Early Modern England

97801996007931Alexandra Shepard’s brilliant new book on the social order of early modern England Accounting for Oneself: Worth, Status, and the Social Order in Early Modern England (Oxford Univ. Press, 2015) has been announced as the Leo Gershoy Award winner for 2016.  Accounting for Oneself makes a major new contribution to the scholarship on gender and work through its re-examination of women’s relationship to property, gendered divisions of labour, and  early modern understandings of work. Examining over 13,500 witness statements made in English Church Courts between 1550 and 1728, this book examines how people from across the social spectrum assessed their place in the social order as well as how they supported themselves at different points in the lifecycle. Their testimony bears witness to the profound impact of widening social inequality that opened up a chasm between the middle ranks and the labouring poor between the mid-sixteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries. Continue reading “Leo Gershoy Award Winner 2016: Alexandra Shepard’s Accounting for Oneself:Worth, Status and the Social Order in Early Modern England”

New Publication: Making a Living, Making a Difference

9780190240615 Making a Living, Making a Difference Gender and Work in Early Modern European Society

Edited by Maria Agren (Oxford University Press, 2016)

This eagerly-awaited publication from the  Gender and Work Project Group at Uppsala University is now available! Written collectively by the project team, it showcases their pioneering work analysing thousands of descriptions of early modern people at work, offering important new perspectives on gender and everyday work in early modern society, including household, unpaid, and hidden labour. Continue reading “New Publication: Making a Living, Making a Difference”