Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia


Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia

Edited and with an introduction by Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Alexandra Guerson, and Dana Wessell Lightfoot

Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series

306 pages
4 tables, index


June 2020


$55.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

June 2020


$55.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

June 2020


$55.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia draws on recent research to underscore the various ways Iberian women influenced and contributed to their communities, engaging with a broader academic discussion of women’s agency and cultural impact in the Iberian Peninsula. By focusing on women from across the socioeconomic and religious spectrum—elite, bourgeois, and peasant Christian women, Jewish, Muslim, converso, and Morisco women, and married, widowed, and single women—this volume highlights the diversity of women’s experiences, examining women’s social, economic, political, and religious ties to their families and communities in both urban and rural environments.

Comprised of twelve essays from both established and new scholars, Women and Community in Medieval and Early Modern Iberia showcases groundbreaking work on premodern women, revealing the complex intersections between gender and community while highlighting not only relationships of support and inclusion but also the tensions that worked to marginalize and exclude women.


Author Bio

Michelle Armstrong-Partida is an associate professor of history at Emory University. Alexandra Guerson is a lecturer at the University of Toronto. Dana Wessell Lightfoot is an associate professor of history at the University of Northern British Columbia.



“This well-conceived volume gathers and fruitfully juxtaposes fresh material from many sites and communities and provides an entrée into the specialized research of a rich range of scholars. Many essays also suggest comparative links to developments not only within Iberia but beyond it. Altogether the collection makes a distinctive and valuable contribution to the history of European women before 1700.”—Elizabeth S. Cohen, coauthor of Daily Life in Renaissance Italy

“The collection brings together an amazing array of research that investigates how Iberian women understood and constituted communities. . . . It will be particularly valuable for students as a way of discussing methodology: the range of sources represented in the collection and the authors’ careful explanation of these sources will be great for teaching.”—Elizabeth A. Lehfeldt, author of Religious Women in Golden Age Spain: The Permeable Cloister

Table of Contents


List of Tables


Introduction: Contextualizing Women, Agency, and Communities in Premodern Iberia

Michelle Armstrong-Partida, Alexandra Guerson, and Dana Wessell Lightfoot

Part 1. Community Networks and Economic Agency

1. Credit and Connections: Jewish Women between Communities in Vic, 1250–1350

Sarah Ifft Decker

2. Challenges Facing Mallorcan Conversas after 1391

Natalie Oeltjen

3. Death and Gender in Late Sixteenth-Century Toledo

Grace E. Coolidge

Part 2. Challenging Communal Ties

4. Women, Injurious Words, and Clerical Violence in Fourteenth-Century Catalunya

Michelle Armstrong-Partida

5. Women, Violence, and Community in Late Medieval Valencia

Mark Meyerson

6. Mixed Marriages and Community Identity in Fifteenth-Century Girona

Alexandra Guerson and Dana Wessell Lightfoot

7. In Defense of Community: Morisca Women in Sixteenth-Century Valladolid

Stephanie M. Cavanaugh

Part 3. Institutional Relationships and Creating Communities

8. Looking for a Way to Survive: Community and Institutional Assistance to Widows in Medieval Barcelona

Mireia Comas-Via

9. Founders, Sisters, and Neighbors in the Thirteenth Century: Women and Community at Santa Maria de Celas, Coimbra

Miriam Shadis

10. Scandal and the Social Networks of Religious Women

Michelle M. Herder

11. Minerva of Her Time: Luisa Sigea and Humanist Networking

Rachel F. Stapleton

12. So That They Will Remember Me: Seroras and Their Testaments in the Early Modern Basque Country

Amanda L. Scott

Conclusion: Iberian Women and Communities across Time

Allyson M. Poska