Nuns -- women vowed to a shared life of poverty, chastity, and obedience in a cloistered community -- were central figures in medieval and early modern religion and society. This course explores life in the convent, with the distinctive culture that developed among communities of women, and the complex relations between the world of the cloister and the world outside the cloister. We look at how female celibacy served social and political, as well as religious, interests. We read works by nuns: both willing and unwilling; and works about nuns: nuns behaving well, and nuns behaving scandalously badly; nuns embracing their heavenly spouse, and nuns putting on plays; nuns possessed by the devil, and nuns managing their possessions; nuns as enraptured visionaries, and nuns grappling with the mundane realities of life in a cloistered community.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU BA; AS HUM; AS LCD; AS SD I; FA HUM; AR HUM; AS SC