Article

Genders and Material Culture

Katherine L. French

in The Oxford Handbook of Women and Gender in Medieval Europe

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780199582174
Published online January 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199582174.013.014

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

Genders and Material Culture

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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The quickening economy of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries offered medieval people new goods, new markets, and new ways of expressing identity and respectability. The objects that men and women owned and used offer scholars an alternative view of their everyday life less encumbered by the rhetorical devices and clerical biases of so many literary works. However expanding material culture challenged existing values and changed behavior in ways we are only beginning to discern. These material possessions, whether they are clothing, cooking ware, or the rooms of a house, help us see women's agency, and the ways in which women and men negotiated space, personal interaction, and gender.

Keywords: childbirth; clothing; cross-dressing; dining; fashion; hair; houses; poverty; privacy; status

Article.  8080 words. 

Subjects: History ; Gender and Sexuality ; Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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