Medieval Gender Reading Group

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The Medieval Gender Reading Group

Everyone, of any disciplinary background, is very welcome to join this informal reading group for interdisciplinary discussion related to gender and sexualities in the middle ages. Graduate students are encouraged to attend. A free sandwich lunch is provided.


Although ‘homosociality’ has become a critical buzzword, methods of creating and maintaining homosocial spaces in the middle ages have received little attention. Homosociality does not just manifest in a vaccuum: it is introduced, maintained, and developed in a variety of social contexts.We will also consider ways in which scholars outside the field of literary studies can use literary texts in their work on gender.

Meeting 1: Thursday Week 5: Gender, Agency and Space: Exploring Power Relationships in the Domestic Environment

In recent years, the exploration of gender has gone hand-in-hand with the study of material culture and the built environment, shedding new light on the ways in which men and women interacted both in the home and in the wider world. Yet much of this work, which has routinely associated men with ‘public’ and women with ‘private’ spaces, respectively, has suggested that high-ranking women, in particular, were disadvantaged by the spaces they inhabited and denied access to power. In this session, we will discuss ‘The Assembly of Ladies’- a late medieval dream vision, which explores the world of an all-female court. The text will be introduced by Rachel Delman.

Please contact for more information and to receive the reading set for each discussion.


Oxford Medieval Studies

Contact name: Rachel Moss
Contact email:
Audience: Open to all