Materializing women: Dynamic interactions of gender and materiality in early modern Europe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter


This chapter considers how women’s lives in early-modern Europe were shaped by their interactions with materiality. It analyses how early-modern women engaged in processes of creation, production, exchange, consumption and display of material objects in particular spaces. Gender affected not only the location and life stage of the majority of elite women’s creative work but potentially obscured particularly their productive labour as wives. Elite women were important creators of material culture, whose opportunities differed markedly from those of men of their class. The chapter explores three key modes of engagement of early-modern women with materiality, through female production, transmission and consumption of material culture. The particular forms of material culture that women could create as a result also functioned to define them both as individuals and as a sex, binding the production of women and materiality together in a dynamic co-constitutive process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge History of Women in Early Modern Europe
EditorsAmanda L. Capern
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Electronic)780429355783
ISBN (Print)9780415732512
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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