Sexual Politics: Gender Dynamics in Early Modern France (MLF3081)

15 credits

Gender norms were being questioned long before the twentieth century. This module examines how gender was used to explore radical ideas about political and sexual control, the self and family, social conformity and taboo in seventeenth-century France when ideals of masculinity were changing and women were gaining cultural influence. You will cover a range of literary genres, from novellas to theatre, considering the use of classical myth and social satire, examining how these texts respond to contemporary theoretical perspectives (psychoanalysis, queer approaches).  What do their constructions of gender reveal about early modern society and how do they challenge our contemporary notions?