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Undergraduate Study

 

The History Faculty offers a wide range of courses that enable students to develop their understanding of, and interest in, histories of gender, identity, and subjectivity. Many of these courses are taught by CGIS steering committee members.

CGIS's regular research seminars and workshops are designed to supplement these taught courses. CGIS's events help support and encourage undergraduate and graduate students to develop their independent research interests. For further details, see our events pages.

The taught courses listed below focus on gender, identity, and subjectivity. Additionally, students with particular interests and skills in studying these topics are encouraged to draw on this knowledge in their other courses. For instance, women's history, queer history, or history of emotions raise important questions for historians of any time period, place or subject.

The courses listed below are designed to give an indication of the range of courses available. They may not all be running each year, so please check the History Faculty website and Canvas for up-to-date information.

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The Historical Methods paper 'Approaches to History' includes the option of studying a wide range of topics as part of 'Gender and History'. Other relevant approaches introduced in this first-year course, include 'Anthropology and History' and 'Art and History'.

 

Optional subjects include, but are not limited to: 

  • Crime and Punishment in England c.1280-c.1450
  • Witch-craft and witch-hunting in early modern Europe
  • Making England Protestant, 1558-1642
  • Women, Gender and the Nation: Britain 1789-1825
  • Haiti and Louisiana: The Problem of Revolution in the Age of Slavery
  • The New Woman in Britain and Ireland, c.1880-1920
  • Radicalism in Britain 1965-1975

 

Options include, but are not limited to:

  • Women, Gender and Print Culture in Reformation England, c.1530-1640
  • Court Culture and Art in Early Modern Europe, 1580-1700
  • Histories of Madness and Mental Healing in a Global Context
  • The authority of nature: Race, Heredity and Crime, 1800-1940
  • Nationalism, Politics and Culture in Ireland, c.1870-1921
  • Culture, Politics and Identity in Cold War Europe, 1945-1968
  • Britain at the Movies: Film and National Identity since 1914

Outline Papers almost all enable the study of histories of gender, identity, and subjectivity in a particular historical context. There are additionally two outline papers that offer the chance to focus in depth on understanding these histories thematically: 

  • British Isles Theme Paper a) Bodies of Feeling: Gender and Sexual Identity since c.1500
  • European and World History Theme Paper: a) Masculinity and its Discontents, 200-2000

Special Subjects include, but are not limited to: : 

  • Joan of Arc and her Age, 1419-35
  • The Peasants' War of 1525
  • Race, Sex and Medicine in the Early Atlantic World
  • Becoming a Citizen, c.1860-1902
  • Race, Religion and Resistance in the United States, from Jim Crowe to Civil Rights
  • Britain from the Bomb to the Beatles: Gender, Class, and Social Change, 1945-1967

A large number of third-year undergraduates write 12,000-word independently researched theses related to the fields of gender, identity and subjectivity. CGIS organises workshops on sources and approaches to encourage students to undertake research on these themes. Many members of the steering committee are able to supervise undergraduate dissertations related to their research interests.

Prizes awarded by the History Faculty

The Olwen Hufton Prize

The Olwen Hufton Prize is awarded annually for the best undergraduate thesis on Gender History. 

Dame Olwen Hufton is one of Britain’s most distinguished female historians. Her books Women and the Limits of Citizenship in the French Revolution (1999) and Europe: Privilege and Protest, 1730-1789 (1985) have shaped ideas about the experience of women in early modern Europe and her groundbreaking monograph The Prospect Before Her (1995) was one of the first academic works to integrate women’s history into a more general synthesis of European history. The prize seeks to encourage original research and to recognise the significant accomplishment of undergraduate students working on gender and women’s history.

Winners

2015

  • Rose Hadshar (Balliol), on the Quaker Prophet and Preacher Mary Fisher

2014

  • Katie Meadon (St Hilda’s), ‘“A doctor, and a woman, and a Christian”: Marie Stopes, celebrity and sexual authority in interwar Britain’.

Katie is now working at the Department for Education in Whitehall.  She found writing her thesis on gender history “extremely rewarding” and believes it equipped her with a really useful set of critical skills. She is considering graduate study on the concept of the “female celebrity” in the interwar years.

  • Kathryn Smith (University College), ‘Seeing is believing: The imagery of medieval female prayer’.

Kathryn is currently studying an M.Litt in Medieval History at the University of St. Andrews. She is developing her interests in women’s history and is writing an essay on the relationship between Clare of Assisi and the Early Franciscans. Kathryn is considering applying to study for a doctorate in this area.

Graduate Study

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The History Faculty offers fourteen one-year MSt and two-year MPhil courses, many of which offer option courses focusing on gender, identity, and subjectivity.

For further information regarding graduate admissions within the History Faculty, contact:graduate.admissions@history.ox.ac.uk

This interdisciplinary MSt option is taught by five departments within the Humanities Division: English, History, Classics, Philosophy and Modern Languages. This nine-month course equips students with the critical and research tools needed for women’s studies in the humanities. It provides a systematic introduction to feminist theory, highlighting women’s contribution to culture and history alongside critical analysis and theorisation of the meanings assigned to the category ‘woman’ in philosophical, literary, socio-cultural and historical thought.

Further information is available on course website: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/mst-womens-studies

Course-related enquiries (including entry requirements) should be directed to the Graduate Studies Office: womens-studies@humanities.ox.ac.uk.

Resources

These are some useful resources if you’re looking for material on gender and women’s history.  The list is by no means exhaustive and you should make sure you look at the list of resources provided on OXLIP under ‘History’ > ‘Women’s History’. There is also a very useful page provided by the Institute of Historical Research here: http://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Focus/Gender/websites.html

 

The following lists have been generously supplied to CGIS by Associate Professor Christina de Bellaigue and Professor Dan Healey.

RESEARCHING LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, & QUEER (LGBTQ) HISTORY

Each year Undergraduate students in the History Faculty produce their own research projects – the Final History thesis – on LGBTQ histories. The range of possible topics is limited only by the imagination and the available source bases. National collections of LGBTQ archival material, Women’s History material, and Transgender materials, can be accessed, often through London-based institutions but also regional ones. LGBTQ organisations and notable people appear in local archival collections (County archives, university collections) as well as national ones. For those with foreign languages, international collections offer another avenue to explore, with significant European collections in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and elsewhere. North American collections are often well resourced and some are digitised. 

RESOURCES IN THE UK

NATIONAL ARCHIVES:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/gay-lesbian-history/

An excellent guide to the dimensions of LGBT history that are possible to explore in the collections of the British state, especially useful for criminality, state regulation, bodies like the Wolfenden Comittee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution.

HALL-CARPENTER ARCHIVES:

http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/collections/featuredCollections/lgbtCollections.aspx

London School of Economics. Records of LGBT movement, voices, activists, pioneers. National and local organizations, campaigns, publications. International resources too.

LESBIAN AND GAY NEWSMEDIA ARCHIVE:

http://www.lagna.org.uk/

Bishopsgate Institute, City of London. Houses over 200,000 cuttings taken from the non-gay press on all LGBT matters since the late Nineteenth Century, badges, t-shirts, reference library.

GLASGOW WOMEN’S LIBRARY 

http://womenslibrary.org.uk/explore-the-library-and-archive/the-archive-collection/

HOUSES – LESBIAN ARCHIVE, estd in London 1984; transferred to GWL, 1995. Numerous Lesbian publications, pulp fiction, personal papers.

GAY’S THE WORD BOOKSHOP:

http://freespace.virgin.net/gays.theword/

66 Marchmont St, London WC1N 1AB

INTERNATIONAL

HOMODOK IHLIA NETHERLANDS, AMSTERDAM

http://www.ihlia.nl/

Europe’s largest collection of LGBT archives.

SCHWULESMUSEUM, BERLIN

http://www.schwulesmuseum.de/en/archive/

ARCHIVES RECHERCHES CULTURES LESBIENNES, PARIS:

http://www.arcl.fr//

Papers, journals, photos and archival fonds of the lesbian movements in France since the 1970s.

ARCHIVES HOMOS, PARIS:

http://www.archiveshomo.info/

Holdings for the gay and lesbian movement in France.

See also: CENTRE D’ARCHIVES ET DOCUMENTATION LGBT EN FRANCE:

http://www.archiveshomo.info/ressources-lgbt/annuaire-france.htm

For collections in Paris, Marseilles and elsewhere.

CANADIAN LESBIAN & GAY ARCHIVES, TORONTO

http://www.clga.ca/

The largest national collection in Canada.

TRANSGENDER ARCHIVES, VICTORIA, BC, CANADA:

http://www.uvic.ca/transgenderarchives/

ARCHIVES OF LESBIAN ORAL TESTIMONY (ONLINE):

http://www.alotarchives.org/

ONE ARCHIVES, LOS ANGELES

http://www.onearchives.org/

LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER ARCHIVES, NEW YORK CITY

https://gaycenter.org/archives

LGBT AT THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, NEW YORK CITY

http://www.nypl.org/voices/blogs/blog-channels/lgbt

ATHENA: The Advanced Thematic Network of Women’s Studies in Europe.

CELL: Centre for Editing Lives and Letters.

FWSA: The Feminist and Women’s Studies Association.

Gender Studies Conferences Worldwide

NOISE: Network of Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies in Europe.

WEMLO Catalogue: Women’s Early Modern Letters Online: a finding aid and editorial interface for women’s letters.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – the national record of 60,000 men and women who shaped the British past worldwide: www.oxforddnb.com/ 

Dictionary of Irish Biography: http://dib.cambridge.org/home.do

TORCH Women’s Writing research network: http://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/networks (website under development)

Women’s Writing in the British Isles: http://orlando.cambridge.org

Art library: http://www.bridgemanimages.com/en-GB/

Women’s History Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/women/womensbook.asp

Women’s Library: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/collections/featuredCollections/womensLibraryLSE.aspx
Women in world history: http://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/sources.php

Published research in Irish history: http://www.irishhistoryonline.ie/

Bibliography of British and Irish History: http://apps.brepolis.net/bbih/search.cfm

Bibliography of English women writers 1500-1640: http://cf.itergateway.org/beww/index.cfm

London Lives: http://www.londonlives.org

Old Bailey Online: http://www.oldbaileyonline.org

British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries 1500-1950: http://solomon.bwld.alexanderstreet.com 

North American Women’s Letters and Diaries to 1950: http://solomon.nwld.alexanderstreet.com

Defining Gender, 1450-1910: http://www.gender.amdigital.co.uk/index.aspx

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000: http://asp6new.alexanderstreet.com/wam2/wam2.index.map.aspx [via Oxlip]

London Lives: http://www.londonlives.org

E. Crawford, Women’s suffrage movement: a reference guide 1866-1928 (1999/2006) [available via SOLO].

B. Kanner, Women in context: two hundred years of British women autobiographers, a reference guide and reader (1997).

B. Kanner, Women in English social history, 1800-1914: a guide to research (3 vols, 1987-1990).

Offen, Hellerstein & Hume (eds), Victorian women : a documentary account of women’s lives in 19thC England, France and the United States (1981) [document collection with useful introductory sections].

P. Gordon, D. Doughan, Women, clubs and associations in Britain (2006).

P. Gordon, D. Doughan, Dictionary of British Women’s Organisations, 1825-1960 (2001).

David Doughan ‘Periodicals By, For and About Women in Britain’, Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 10, No.3 (1987).

A. Bourke, et al (eds.), The Field Day Anthology of Irish Women’s Writing and Traditions, 2 volumes (2001).

In the First Person: an index to letters, diaries, oral histories and personal narratives http://www.inthefirstperson.com/firp/index.shtml

Old Bailey Online: http://www.oldbaileyonline.org

British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries 1500-1950: http://solomon.bwld.alexanderstreet.com 

Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000: http://asp6new.alexanderstreet.com/wam2/wam2.index.map.aspx [via Oxlip]

North American Women’s Letters and Diaries to 1950: http://solomon.nwld.alexanderstreet.com

Defining Gender, 1450-1910: http://www.gender.amdigital.co.uk/index.aspx

Yalom, Marilyn, ‘Women’s autobiography in French, 1793-1939: a selective bibliography’, French Literature Series, 12 (1985), 197-205.

Gerritsen Collection – printed materials on women: http://gerritsen.chadwyck.com/home.do

John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera – handbills, prospectuses, all manner of printed material, some of which relates to women: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/johnson

Bodleian – Opie Collection of Children’s Literature: http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/bodley/finding-resources/special/catalogues/opie_collection_of_childrens_literature

Women’s work in the USA 1800-1930: http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/ww/

JSTOR Ireland Collection: http://www.jstor.org/action/showJournals?browseType=collectionInfoPage&selectCollection=ireland

Public Record Office of Northern Ireland: Guide to Sources for Women’s History: http://www.proni.gov.uk/guide_to_sources_for_womens_history_-_may_2013.pdf

National Archives of Ireland: http://www.nationalarchives.ie/research/research-guides-and-articles/guide-to-sources-on-womens-history/

Irish Times, 1859-2012: http://search.proquest.com/hnpirishtimes/index?accountid=13042

Irish Newspaper Archive: http://archive.irishnewsarchive.com/Olive/APA/INA.Edu/Default.aspx

Irish Bureau of Military History – Women’s Witness Statements: http://www.bureauofmilitaryhistory.ie/

Irish Military Archives – Military Service Pensions collection: http://www.militaryarchives.ie/collections/online-collections/military-service-pensions-collection

List of site pages