Fall 2019 - GSWS 341 D100

History of Women in Europe: Ideas and Debates from the Renaissance to the Present (4)

Class Number: 9304

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 8:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 2522, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including six units of lower division history.



Examines perceptions and ideas regarding women, their nature, their role(s) in society, their rights and obligations, their sexuality, and their relationship to men and other women that were expressed in Europe from the Renaissance to the Present. Students with credit for HIST 307, HS 307, or GSWS 321 under the topics "Women", or "On Women", or HIST 341, may not take this course for further credit.


This course examines the perceptions and ideas regarding women, their nature, their roles in society, their rights and obligations, their sexuality, and their relationship to men and other women that were expressed in Europe from the Renaissance (with a brief look into Ancient and Medieval times) to the Present. We will be looking at the changes that European society underwent during that period, the rise of new ideologies and systems of thought and the impact all these had on women. We will be focusing on how women responded to, or initiated, change, as well as the counter-arguments, or new theories, developed to stifle the early women’s movements.  

The primary objective of the class is for students to escape determinist approaches to the history of women and their struggle for rights and gain the ability to look at the past in its own terms. Furthermore, by the end of the course students should have the ability to analyze primary source documents and use them in formulating convincing arguments. They will also have gained the ability to write in an analytical manner, presenting a convincing thesis regarding complex issues.


For more detailed information please see the GSWS website: http://www.sfu.ca/gsws/courses/Educational_Goals.html


  • Class attendance and participation 15%
  • Responses to the weekly readings 15%
  • Book presentation 10%
  • Book review paper 15%
  • Midterm 15%
  • Final paper 30%


·         Women in Antiquity
·         Saints, Mystics, and Noblewomen of the Middle Ages
·         Women and the Renaissance
·         The Reformation and Witch-hunts
·         The Enlightenment and the French Revolution
·         Women in Eastern Europe
·         Utopian Socialism and Liberalism
·         Bourgeois and Working Class Women
·         Nationalism and Scientific Socialism 
·         Class, Work, and the Nation 
·         Fin de Siècle Europe, the Demands for Suffrage, and Reaction 
·         Women, War, and Revolution 
·         Postwar Europe



Bridenthal, Renate et al Becoming Visible: Women in European History
Lisa DiCaprio and Merry E. Wiesner (eds.) Lives and Voices
Leo Tolstoy, The Kreutzer Sonata

Registrar Notes:

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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