Meanings and Models of Motherhood in European History and Literature
Virgin and Blessing Child
Professors Martha Driver and Nancy Reagin
Information for Prof. Reagin::
Mo. 12-1:30 p.m.
Office: Rm. 1502
, 41 Park Row
Tues 3:30-5 p.m. Office phone: (212) 346-1723
Thur. 2-2:30 p.m. Office fax: (212) 346-1673
& 3:30-5 p.m. Home phone: (973) 893-0732
Information for Dr. Driver:
Office Hours: Tues. 9-10 a.m., 2-4
Office: Rm. 1504, 41 Park Row
Thurs. 2-4 p.m. Office phone: (212) 346-1414
[in Oct., hours may be adjusted to Office fax: (212) 346-1754
morning hours] Email: Mdriver@pace.edu
Link to Online Reserve Room
Prof. Reagin's Main Page
Prof. Driver's Main Page
Link to List of Assignments for Course
Texts (on sale at bookstore)
Shelmerdinc (trans.), Homeric Hymns
Kolve and Olson (eds.), Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue
Burgess and Busby (trans.), Lais of Marie de France
Power, Medieval Women
These texts are only one part of your readings. Other
readings will be found in the library’s online reserve room; you may download
and print out these readings at your convenience. It’s a bit more work,
but they’re free.
Course Goals and Objectives
This course pursues several goals simultaneously. First, it will examine motherhood as a social, historical, and literary construct. That is, we will discuss how motherhood was defined in a variety of historical cultures: the work assigned to or expected of mothers; the ideal of the “good mother”; the relationship between mothers and fathers; and the legal position of mothers. At the same time, we will examine motherhood and mothers in a variety of literary texts from the same periods, discussing motherhood as metaphor.
The course also aims to develop students’ familiarity
with various forms of information technology, and multimedia presentations.
Students will complete Web-based research assignments (on historic or literary
figures), and will design their own Web pages.
Your grade will be based on your performance in seminar discussions, on essays which you will write at home or during class examinations, and on the IT assignments you will complete (Web pages and Web-based research). To do well in this class, you will need to do the reading assignments before class and participate in discussion. You will find that it is not possible to do well without having done the readings. Each week, you will be required to hand in a short essay (one long paragraph), which discusses your reaction to the reading assignment for that week. You will also be required to post to the class Web Board every week, before we discuss the assigned reading. Your grade will be weighted as follows:
Participation in Seminar Discussions: 20%
and on the Web Board
2 Essays: 10% each
2 in class midterms 10% each
Web page project 40%
The grade for your participation in the discussions will be based on the quantity and quality of your contributions to the discussion. To participate, you need to have finished the reading before the class meets; this sounds obvious, but there are some people who believe that they can contribute to a discussion without understanding the subject of that discussion. They can't. Doing the reading is not enough, however. You need to raise questions and make comments about it, too. If you never say a word in discussion section meetings, your grade will suffer.
HELP! If you get a low grade on a test, or if you
can't make sense of the reading assignments, or if you have any problems which
the lectures, COME TALK TO US ABOUT IT DURING OUR OFFICE HOURS. It's
probably a difficulty we've seen before, and we may be able to offer helpful
suggestions about overcoming it. If you ignore a problem, it always
gets worse, not better. If you have a question in class, just raise
Absences, Missed Tests, and Late Papers
If you are absent from class, first ask a classmate
for a copy of his/her notes on the discussion. If you still have questions
after studying these notes and the reading assignment for the week, please
make an appointment or come to see one of us during our office hours.
Late papers may be allowed, but only for a very short list of valid reasons,
which include jury duty, an illness certified by a physician, or a death
in your family. We may require proof in each case. You may not
file with the registrar's office to take a make up exam after the end of
the semester without my permission; if you do so without clearing it with
one of us first, you will receive an "F" for that examination.
Cheating and plagiarism (copying an answer from someone
else's essay or a book) are the most serious offenses possible in academic
life. If they occur, you will lose credit for the work in question,
and your grade will certainly suffer. In addition, Pace procedures
for handling cases of scholastic dishonesty will be initiated. We will
hand out a sheet on what plagiarism is, so that you will be able to avoid
making mistakes inadvertently.
Note: This course will meet twice a week for
two hours per meeting, thus each week is set up with two sessions. Students
will do additional work with Web-based research assignments, developing their
own Web pages on different historic or literary personages/figures.
In order to complete this project, students will learn to use Netscape Composer,
along with other necessary IT skills.
For the entire period covered by the course: Bridenthal Renate et al (eds.). Becoming Visible. Women in European History. NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.
“ I have a beautiful daughter, golden like a flower”
Blundell, Sue. Women in Ancient Greece. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1995.
Cantarella, Eva. Pandora’s Daughters: The Role & Status of Women in Greek & Roman Antiquity. Trans. Maureen B. Fant. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins UP, 1987.
Clark, Gillian. Women in Late Antiquity: Pagan and Christian Lifestyles. NY: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Hanson, Ann E. “The Roman Family,” in Life, Death, and Entertainment in the Roman Empire. Ed. D.S. Potter and D.J.
Mattingly. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1999.
Patterson, C. “’Not worth rearing’: the causes of infant exposure in ancient Greece.” Transactions of the American Philological Association 115: 103-23.
Pomeroy, Sarah B. Goddesses, whores, wives and slaves. NY: Robert Hale, 1975.
Pomeroy, Sarah B. Women in Hellenistic Egypt. NY: Schocken, 1984.
Images of Motherhood -- Judeo-Christian Readings
Biale, Rachel. Women and Jewish Law. NY: Schocken,
The Code of Maimonides. Book Four: The Book of Women. Trans. Isaac Klein. New Haven Yale UP, 1972.
Hale, Rosemary Drage. “Joseph as Mother: Adaptation and Appropriation in the
Construction of Male Virtue.” In Medieval Mothering. Ed. John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler. NY: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996, 101-116.
Henry, Sondra and Emily Taitz. Written Out of History: A Hidden Legacy of Jewish Women Revealed Through Their Writings and Letters. NY, 1978
Marcus, Jacob R., ed. The Jew in the Medieval World: A Sourcebook. Cincinnati: The Union of American Hebrew Congregations, 1938.
Sheingorn, Pamela. “The Maternal Behavior of God: Divine Father as Fantasy Husband.” In Medieval Mothering. Ed. John Carmi Parsons and Bonnie Wheeler. NY: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1996, 77-99.
Warner, Marina. Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary. NY: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc,. 1976; rev ed Vintage Books, 1983.
Images of Motherhood in the Middle Ages
Chaucer, Geoffrey. The Canterbury Tales: Nine Tales and the General Prologue. Ed. V.A. Kolve and Glending Olson. NY: WW Norton & Co. Inc, 1989.
The Lais of Marie de France. Trans. Glyn S. Burgess and Keith Busby. NY: Penguin, 1988.
Power, Eileen. Medieval Women. Ed. M.M. Postan. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1975.
Radice, Betty. The Letters of Abelard and Heloise. NY: Penguin, 1974.
Ashley, Kathleen and Pamela Sheingorn, eds. Interpreting Cultural Symbols: Saint Anne in Late Medieval Society. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1990.
Blamires, Alcuin. Woman Defamed and Woman Defended: An Anthology of Medieval Texts. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Bynum, Caroline Walker. Jesus as Mother: Studies in the Spirituality of the High Middle Ages. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982.
Howell, Martha. The Marriage Exchange. Chicago: U.P. Chicago Pr., 1998.
Hahn, Cynthia. “ ‘Joseph will perfect, Mary enlighten and Jesus save thee’: The Holy Family as Marriage in the Merode Triptych,” Art Bulletin 68 (1986), 54-66.
Lucas, Angela M. Women in the Middle Ages: Religion, Marriage, Letters. Brighton: The Harvester Press, 1983.
Mann, Jill. Geoffrey Chaucer. NY: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991.
Mellinkoff, Ruth. Outcasts: Signs of Otherness in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Ages. Los Angeles: 1993.
Mews, Constant J. The Lost Love Letters of Heloise and Abelard. NY: St Martin’s Press, 1999.
van Os, Henk. The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages in Europe 1300-1500. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1994.
Wilson, Katharina M., ed. Medieval Women Writers. Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1984.
Mothers in the Early Modern/Renaissance Period
Elizabeth I, Selected Letters (hand-out), possible viewing of Elizabeth
Hariot’s Report on Virginia, 1585 (hand-out)
Kahn, Coppelia. “The Absent Mother in King Lear.” In Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe. Ed. Margaret W. Ferguson,
Maureen Quilligan and Nancy J. Vickers. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Montrose, Louis A. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Shaping Fantasies of
Elizabethan Culture: Gender, Power and Form.” In Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe. Ed. Margaret W. Ferguson, Maureen Quilligan and Nancy J. Vickers. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Shakespeare, William. The Sonnets. Ed. John Kerrigan. NY: Penguin, 1986.
Shakespeare. Hamlet. The Arden Shakespeare. NY: Routledge, 1993.
Shakespeare. The Winter’s Tale. The Arden Shakespeare. NY: Routledge, 1993
Shakespeare. King Lear. The Arden Shakespeare. NY: Routledge, 1993
Shakespeare. King John. The Arden Shakespeare. NY: Routledge, 1993.
Adelman, Janet. Suffocating Mothers: Fantasies of Maternal Origin in Shakespeare’s Plays, Hamlet to The Tempest. NY: Routledge, 1992.
Aughterson, Kate, ed. Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 1995.
Gildenhuys, Faith, ed. A Gathering of Griseldas: Three Sixteenth-Century Texts. Ottawa: Dovehouse Editions Inc., 1996.
Harrison, G. Letters of Queen Elizabeth I, 1558-1570. NY: Greenwood Press, 1935.
Jansen, Sharon L. Dangerous Talk and Strange Behavior: Women and PopularResistance to the Reforms of Henry VIII. NY; Macmillan, 1996.
Jordan, Constance. Renaissance Feminism: Literary Texts and Political Models. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1990.
Kenyon, Olga. 800 Years of Women’s Letters. Phoenix Mill: Alan Sutton, 1992.
Otten, Charlotte F. English Women’s Voices, 1540-1700. Miami: Florida International UP, 1992.
Prior, Mary. Women in English Society 1500-1800. NY: Methuen, 1985.
Sorel, Nancy Caldwell. Ever Since Eve: Personal Reflections on Childbirth. NY: Oxford UP, 1984.
Turner, James Grantham, ed. Sexuality & gender in early modern Europe: Institutions, texts, images. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1995.
Gender, Motherhood and the Enlightenment
Wollstonecraft, Mary. A Vindication of the Rights of Women. NY: W.W. Norton, 1988.
Hull, Isabel. Sexuality, State, and Civil Society in Germany, 1700-1815. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1995.
Landes, Joan. Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1988.
Separate Spheres and Bourgeois Class Formation
Gaskell, Elizabeth. Mary Barton. NY: Oxford UP, 1998.
-------------. Ruth. NY: Oxford UP, 1981.
Davidoff, Leonore and Catherine Hall. Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class, 1780-1850. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago P., 1991
Kaplan, Marion. The Making of the Jewish Middle Class. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1991
Wood, Mrs. Henry. East Lynne. NY: Pocket Classics, 1993
Mothers and Industrialization
Canning, Kathleen. Languages of Labor and Gender. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1996
Frader, Laura. Gender and Class in Modern Europe. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1997
Gender, War, and the Family
Melman, Billie. Borderlines. Genders and Identities in War and Peace, 1870-1930. NY: Routledge, 1998
Higonette, Margarite, ed.. Between the Lines. Gender and the Two World Wars. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1990
Gender and Imperialism
Strobel, Margaret and Napur Chaudhuri, eds. Western Women and Imperialism. Bloomington, IN: Univ. of Indiana Pr., 1992
Stoler, Ann, “Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power. Gender, Race and Morality in Colonial Asia,” in Michele di Leonardo (ed.) Gender at the Crossroads of Power.
Orwell, George. Burmese Days. NY: Harcourt, Brace, 1962
Hansen, Karen (ed.). African Encounters with Domesticity. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1992
Mothers and the Welfare State
Koven, Seth and Sonya Michel (eds.). Mothers of a New World: Maternalist Politics and the Origins of the Welfare State. NY: Routlege, 1993
Bock, Giesela and Pat Thane (eds.). Maternity and Gender Politics. Woemn and the Rise of the European Welfare States, 1880s-1950s. NY: Routledge, 1991
Moeller, Robert. Protecting Motherhood. Women and the Family in the Politics of Postwar West Germany. Berkely: Univ. of Calif. P, 1993
Women, the Family and Fascism in the early 20th Century
Victoria de Grazia. How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945. Berkeley, CA: Univ. of Calif. P, 1992
Koonz, Claudia. Mothers in the Fatherland. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1989
Bridenthal, Renate, Atina Grossmann and Marion Kaplan. When Biology Became Destiny. Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany.NY: Monthly Review Press, 1985
Pine, Lisa. Nazi Family Policy, 1933-1945. Oxford: Berg, 1997
Heinemann, Elizabeth. What Difference Does a Husband Make? Single and Married Women in Nazi Germany. Berkeley: U. of California Press, 1999
Kaplan, Marion. Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany. New York: Oxford UP, 1998
Eastern Europe After 1945
Wolf, Christa. Patterns of Childhood. NY: Farrar, Straus, 1984 (compares childhood and family life in Nazi Germany and Eastern Germany)
Funk, Nanette and Magda Mueller. Gender Politics and Post Communism. NY: Routledge, 1993.
Chapter by Barbara Einhorn in Becoming Visible on
women and the state in Eastern Europe