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Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Professor Constant Mews and Dr Clare Monagle


Previously coded RLM5060


This unit looks at the way a range of medieval women (like Heloise, Hildegard of Bingen, Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, Christine de Pizan and Margherita Datini), shaped and performed their identity through visionary, scholarly and domestic writing, and thus helped transform conventional themes in theology, literature and art, 1100-1450. The unit will explore the ways in which women sought to transform both secular and religious understanding of their own identity, and thus to question received ideas about gender, religion and ethics.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Reflect critically on historiography relating to gender and religion in the medieval period.
  2. Gain familiarity with the literary achievement of a range of women writers and visionaries in medieval Europe.
  3. Acquire research skills in analysing and contextualising the thought of at least two women writers.
  4. Gain expertise in relating literature to visual representations in the period.


Two papers (2500 words each): 40%
Essay (9000 words): 60%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week