First reading: from natalie zemon davis, society and culture in early

 

This project involves reading the following materials and writing a detailed summary which addresses the associated questions. The readings are available in the Google Drive folder (“Project-Readings.pdf”). If you have a particular source or topic you wish to pursue, please feel free to talk to me about it one day after class.

Our textbook leaves out so much material, particularly detail about social life in the early modern period. This project will address some of these topics.

First Reading: From Natalie Zemon Davis, Society and Culture in Early Modern France (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1975).

Social rituals were a big part of life in the past because they helped to knit together many aspects of life, and even social classes. They also served to settle social tensions that arose. This reading discusses some of these phenomena.

Your particular assignment is to write a fairly detailed summary of the material and, within it, address the following questions. Please cite specific evidence from the reading.

Some guiding questions:
1. In what ways were different age groups involved in the rituals of “misrule”? 2. What social problems did the Abbeys of Misrule tend to solve?
3. How were different social classes part of these rituals?

Second Reading: From Merry E. Wiesner, Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

The history of women has become a huge topic within the academy. This reading deals with the most basic aspect of a woman’s life, her biology and how it related to social customs and expectations in the early modern period.

Your particular assignment is to write a fairly detailed summary of the material and, within it, address the following questions. Please cite specific evidence from the reading.

Some guiding questions:
1. What were the “stages” in a woman’s life, and how are they described? 2. In what ways was sexuality important?
3. Were women ever seen as a threat to men?
4. Did any women rebel against the cultural constraints of their culture?

There is no particular length requirement, but to do a rigorous job I would say that the minimum altogether would be at least between five pages, if typed and double-spaced.

 

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