Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index

Article of the Month

Indexers select an article or essay at the beginning of each month that is outstanding in its line of argument, wealth of significances, and writing style. We particularly look for pieces that will be useful as course readings.

March 2018 [Posted March 2019]

Master of the Golden Fleece of Vienna and Copenhagen
Master of the Golden Fleece of Vienna and Copenhagen, Rule of Saint Augustine and Constitutions of the Hospital of Notre Dame at Seclin, Lille, 1470-80, Hôpital Notre-Dame, Seclin. (Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain)

Jordan, Erin L. "Transforming the Landscape: Cistercian Nuns and the Environment in the Medieval Low Countries." Journal of Medieval History 44, 2 (2018): 187-201.

Abstract: "This article investigates the extent to which women’s monastic communities intervened in the natural landscape of the southern Low Countries in the Middle Ages, irrevocably transforming the environment in their efforts to support their communities. Focusing on the county of Flanders in particular, it contributes to an expanding historiography that traces the impact of human intervention on the natural world in the pre-modern period. Simultaneously, it offers a glimpse into a world where religious women worked alongside their male counterparts, challenging past notions about how gender shaped monasticism in the Middle Ages. While scholars have often noted the role of monastic communities in reclamation activities, this article makes a unique contribution by inserting Cistercian nuns into the narrative, ultimately producing a more inclusive and more accurate understanding of monastic experience in the Middle Ages." [Reproduced from the journal page on the Taylor and Francis Online website.]