Fall 2017 - HS 441 D100

Women, Property, and the Law in the Mediterranean (4)

Class Number: 7471

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 8:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3517, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Examines the relationship between women and law through a focus on the question of property from the ancient world to the modem period and through a comprehensive examination of the Roman, Judaic, Christian, Islamic as well as modern legal traditions. Students with credit for HIST 441 may not take HS 441 for further credit.


This Course will examine the broad question of women and law through a close examination of the issues relating to property over the centuries. Starting with ancient Greece and Rome the course will work its way to the present and cover Byzantine law, Judaic law, Canon law, customary law, Islamic law, up to the development of modern Civil (and Criminal) codes. The course will examine both the theoretical aspects of law as they pertain to women in general and women and property in particular including such questions as inheritance, control of property, marital rights over property, divorce, and so on, and move on to a comparative examination of how women fared in the various courts of the Mediterranean over the centuries. The course will not require particular knowledge in Law or gender history, though a broad knowledge of the history of the Mediterranean world will be beneficial.

Schedule of Classes

1. Introduction, Women and Law in Ancient Times  
2. Law and Religion: Judaism and early Christianity  
3. Justinian and Roman law  
4. A new Law: the rise of Islam  
5. The Law in Medieval Times  
6. Did Women have a Renaissance?  
7. The Ottoman Polyphony  
8. European Law before the Revolution  
9. Enlightenment and Revolution  
10. The Napoleonic Code: Patriarchy Restored  
11. The long 19th century  
12. Law, Nationalism, and Modernity – the 20th century


  • Class attendance and participation 15%
  • Readings responses 15%
  • Book presentation 10%
  • Book report 15%
  • Peer Review 10%
  • Paper 35%


HS 441 is cross-listed with HIST 441 and GSWS 411. Students may enroll in this course for credit under either the HIST, HS, or GSWS designations



The course does not have a textbook and all required readings will be available on Canvas or at the library.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html