Mapping Gender

Speaker(s): Sarah Williams
Date: Jan 2010
Length: 18 hr 20 min
Product ID: RGDL4006S

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Description

This course, taught by Sarah Williams, is designed for those who are asking questions about identity, gender, sexuality and theology. As a class we will consider how one culture understood masculinity and femininity as social and relational categories, as ideas, and as cultural constructs. Our aim is to explore how themes such as gender roles, motherhood, fatherhood, singleness, gender stereotyping and authority were mapped in late-Georgian and Victorian church and society. Through a challenging and in-depth historical study of the period c1780-1900, this course seeks to shed fresh light on many of the issues which preoccupy us today. As we encounter a time period qualitatively different from our own, contemporary presuppositions will be re-assessed, challenged and re-articulated. In this way the course deliberately seeks to foster critical acumen, imagination and historical perspective. The social, economic and political "revolutions" of the period c1780-1900 created a crisis of identity for both men and women. These crises are examined as a backdrop for understanding the varied ways in which theological ideas shaped emergent cultural ideals of masculinity and femininity. A primary area of inquiry is the relationship between evangelicalism and redefinitions of male and female involvement in education, family life, the academy, the arts, health care, church leadership and political life. Britain provides the starting point for this study although comparisons will be drawn with the US, Canada, France, Germany and Scandinavia. In addition, whilst the period 1780-1900 forms the focus of our inquiry, the last three lectures of the term will trace patterns of change into the Twentieth Century. Lectures include:

  • Public Men, Private Women? - The Rise of Domestic Ideology
  • Femininity and Masculinity Explored
  • Domesticity and Parenthood
  • Learning, Education, and the Academy - Greek or Needlework?
  • Introducing the Victorian Church - Men, Women, and Worship
  • The Transformation of Domestic Ideology - Philanthropy: Private Women in the Public Sphere
  • Commerce, Politics, and the Public Sphere
  • The Transformation of Domestic Ideology - Domestic Critiques of the Body Politic
  • Men, Women, and War - 20th Century Modifications
  • The Rise of Modern Feminism - Continuity and Change

See All Audio by Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams is Research Professor of Church History at Regent College. Previously, she held research and teaching positions at the University of Birmingham, Harris Manchester College at Oxford, and Lincoln College at Oxford. She is author of Religious Belief and Popular Culture, The Shaming of the Strong, and co-author of Redefining Christian Britain. She has written a number of articles and reviews for academic journals such as Past and Present, The Urban History Yearbook, The Journal of Victorian Culture, The Journal of the Oral History Society, Archives De Sciences Sociales Des Religions, and The Journal of Nineteenth Century Studies. She has contributed to European Religion in the Age of Great Cities (Hugh McLeod ed.), and worked on a collaborative research project that was published as Women, Gender and Religious Cultures in Britain, 1800-1940.

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