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

2020 Collaborative Project Award by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender 

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 is a fascinating volume, showcasing the archival riches available to those interested in pursuing similar questions. Given the strength of the individual essays in this volume as well as the lively dialogue between them, this volume would be a wonderful addition to an upper-division undergraduate or graduate course in premodern women's and/or gender history."—Debra Blumenthal, Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal

"This is a riveting collection of essays that give the reader a chance to get a glimpse of the lives of various women living in the early modern Period in various parts of the Iberian Peninsula."—Tatevik Gyulamiryan, Hispania

"This collection of 12 essays significantly adds to the growing body of literature that explores the myriad networks through which medieval and early modern European women engaged and exercised agency within their societies’ patriarchal structures."—J. Harrie, Choice

"This essay collection will be of interest to specialists and scholars of European women and gender, but it is equally worthy of consideration for students. The contributors present self-reflective and thoughtful explanations of a vast array of sources and historical methods of interpretation particularly suitable for classroom discussion."—Hayley R. Bowman, Comitatus

“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




2020 Collaborative Project Award by the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women and Gender 

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