About the Society

The Société d’Études Interdisciplinaires sur les Femmes au Moyen Âge et à la Renaissance* is a nonprofit association under the Loi of 1901.


*Society of Interdisciplinary Studies of Women in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance


Created in Paris on 4 December 2014.


Studies dedicated to the role of women in history have, by and large, grown in popularity in the past few decades. Research in this field, however, has not progressed in an altogether homogenous manner. On the contrary, it has presented considerable imbalances with regard to context and geography, as well as in the various aspects, themes and research angles that this very broad domain encompasses. Moreover, there has been a profound lack of dialogue between researchers in this field, a communication breakdown whose manifestations are threefold: spatial, between different countries, and indeed, on either side of the Atlantic, temporal, between specialists in different periods, in particular between medievalists and early-modernists, and what is known as a lack of intra/interdisciplinary communication.


The SEIFMAR aims to bring together researchers from different disciplinary and methodological strands of study, be they focused on the Middle Ages or the Early Modern era, both in America and Europe.






SEIFMAR’s objectives:


A – General


- Conduct a long-term analysis of the innovations, continuities and discontinuities in various aspects of women’s history in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period in the Atlantic world. This shall be done in such a way that eschews traditional, binary divisions, such as those between Europe and the New World, and the Middle Ages and the modern era.


- Establish interdisciplinary dialogue that will create a complementary view of each of the processes, aspects and sub-themes that form part of this general study.


- Stress the legitimate importance of integrating women’s and gender studies into a wider study of European and American relations.



B – Specific aims


- Analyse the different methodological perspectives that are present in women’s studies in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period and question their contributions to the field, the problems they pose, and how they may evolve in the 21st century.


Revisit and question the discordances, discontinuities and supposed differences between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, between Europe and America using existing historiography.


Deepen and raise awareness of the presence, standing, and role of women in the economic, political, intellectual, scientific and artistic spheres in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period.


Analyse the different artistic contributions made by and for women, as well as female visual and literary culture, whilst also taking stock of common elements, their evolution and their perennity throughout the centuries that are studied.


As we carry out this project, we hope to create an international and interdisciplinary working group of medievalists and early-modernists who will examine the issues outlined above, and evaluate their sustainability. We will organise seminars each semester in different countries, where we will study different aspects of these issues, reformulating them and considering them under different themes and axes of study. We will present the results in the form of essays, articles, book chapters or collective works.