The debate about women and its socio-cultural background in early modern Venice

Dialeti, Androniki (2004) The debate about women and its socio-cultural background in early modern Venice. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This Thesis deals with the development of the debate about women, also known in the European context as querelle des femmes, in Italy, from the 1540s to the mid-seventeenth century. The research is based on the contemporary Italian literature and correspondence. The Thesis' prime focus is Venice, as the main printing and intellectual centre where the debate was formulated and disseminated throughout Italy, especially during the first half of the sixteenth century. However, it also treats the shaping of the debate at the Courts of Central and Northern Italy. The main object of the Thesis is to detect the socio-cultural context of the debate. So, it examines the significance of the emerging printing industry for the development and propagation of the debate, the social and literary networks of its agents, the reading public for which it was meant, and the role of the patronage system in the production of such writings. Special emphasis is also given to the part women's greater participation in intellectual life played in the shaping of the debate about them - as readers, writers, participants in contemporary discussions, members of Academies, salon keepers and dedicatees. Furthermore, the Thesis underlines the changes the discourse on women and cultural formation of gender roles underwent in the sixteenth century, detecting the interplay between broader social developments, most importantly the establishment of the Catholic Reformation, and the fashioning of the dominant gender ideology. It explores the shaping of patterns of gender identity, comparing the love literature and writings on female superiority which dominated in the first half of the sixteenth century, and conduct literature, especially treatises on marriage and domestic economy, which mostly flourished in the second half of the century. Finally, the Thesis traces the differences in the representation of gender roles and identities by male and female authors. It considers the identities of the "speakers" in the dialogues and how they might link with the arguments made and the model of behavior- the author suggests, and the representation of women's "defenders" and "enemies" in the literature under question, with the rhetoric deployed. An extensive range of writings is considered, by men and women, both well-known and obscure. Some well-known women writers are placed in a wider context, intellectual and social, while some obscurer male writers are revealed interesting contributors to the debate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Chris Black
Keywords: European history, Women's studies
Date of Award: 2004
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2004-71182
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71182

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