Category Archives: Articles

February 2017 – The Violence of Transnationalism and Indigenous Women’s Resistance

Bernadette Andrea for the SSEMW Blog

The first indigenous American woman in England was not Pocahantas (“Matoaka alias Rebecca daughter to the mighty Prince Powhatan”), who journeyed to London in 1616 and died in Gravesend on the south bank of the Thames Estuary in 1617,[1] but Ignorth, an Inuit woman Martin Frobisher captured on his second voyage in search of the Northwest Passage and transported to Bristol, where she died in 1577.[2] Her life thus signals a history of contact – and, ultimately, colonialism – that extends the subject of early modern women and transnationalism into what historian Merry Weisner-Hanks identifies as “the global turn” in gender studies.[3] Continue reading

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January 2017 – Early Modern Women and Transnationalism: The Case of Anna Maria van Schurman, ‘The Star of Utrecht’

Anne R. Larsen for the SSEMW Blog

“Transnational scholarship is all the rage,” to borrow from Allyson Poska’s inaugural blog for SSEMW in September 2016. Rightly so. As students and scholars of early modern women, we are increasingly searching for the ways in which these women participated in a variety of transnational communities of letters, be they agents of empire, colonizers, noblewomen and royalty, women religious, writers, thinkers, scientists, or artists.

A prime example of an early modern woman who crossed borders is the German-born Dutch linguist and scholar Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-78). Continue reading

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November 2016 – Bernardino Ochino and the Women Who Made His Career Possible

Julie D. Campbell for the SSEMW Blog

In January 2106, I attended a webinar entitled “Networking Early Modern Women,” intended to help scholars add early modern English women’s names to the Six Degrees of Francis Bacon project, a DH endeavor produced by a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and Georgetown University. The Bacon project, co-founded by Christopher Warren and Daniel Shore, “aims to be the broadest, most accessible source of who knew whom in early modern Britain.” Warren says that Six Degrees shows two degrees of relationship—“Think friends and friends of friends.”[1] It occurred to me that if one mapped the friends and friends of friends of Bernardino Ochino (1487-1564), the Sienese Franciscan friar and, later, Capuchin monk, famous for his reform theology, the result would be a fascinating constellation of “two degree” relationships between English and continental women. Continue reading

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September 2016 – Transnationalism and the Study of Early Modern Women

Allyson M. Poska for the SSEMW Blog

Transnational scholarship is all the rage, but luckily for us, study of early modern women and transnationalism are natural partners. In fact, in many ways, early modern women’s scholarship was at the forefront of this scholarly trend. Long before intellectuals employed the term, many of the most prominent scholars in our field were intuitively led towards what has become known as transnational scholarship. By looking across borders, they hoped to move beyond the biographical focus on exceptional women and find like-minded and similarly situated women with whom they could make comparisons and reveal connections. Of course, since those early days of women’s history, both fields have evolved. Continue reading

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