© 2002

The Material Culture of Sex, Procreation, and Marriage in Premodern Europe

  • Editors
  • Anne L. McClanan
  • Karen Rosoff Encarnación

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Anne L. McClanan, Karen Rosoff Encarnación
    Pages 1-10
  3. Janet Huskinson
    Pages 11-31
  4. Anne L. McClanan
    Pages 33-57
  5. Veronica Sekules
    Pages 79-91
  6. Paula M. Rieder
    Pages 93-113
  7. Katharine Park
    Pages 115-133
  8. Geraldine A. Johnson
    Pages 135-161
  9. Adrian W. B. Randolph
    Pages 163-189
  10. Charlene Villaseñor Black
    Pages 191-219
  11. Karen Rosoff Encarnación
    Pages 221-249
  12. Helmut Puff
    Pages 251-272
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 273-285

About this book


This interdisciplinary anthology takes as its starting point the belief that, as the material grounds of lived experience, material culture provides an avenue of historical access to women's lives, extending beyond the reaches of textual evidence. Studies here range from utilitarian tools used in Late Roman abortion to sacred, magical or ritual objects associated with sex, procreation, and marriage in the Renaissance. Together the essays demonstrate the complex relationship between language and object, and explore the ways in which objects become forms of communication in their own right, transmitting both rather specific messages and more generalized social and cultural values.


communication Europe gender marriage material culture politics reformation Renaissance Sex Spain weapons women

About the authors

ANNE MCCLANAN studied at Harvard, the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University and has excavated in Jordan and Turkey. Now an Assistant Professor at Portland State University, she teaches Late Roman and Medieval Art, she has a book forthcoming on the representation of early Byzantine Empresses that will appear in Palgrave's New Middle Ages Series edited by Bonnie Wheeler.

KAREN ROSOFF ENCARNACIÓN is a Ph.D. candidate in History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University. During several years of work in women's health and occupational medicine she became interested in the relationship between individual experiences and the social and cultural formations within which they occur. Her forthcoming interdisciplinary dissertation, which combines her interests in art and medicine, studies the changing moral and epistemological status of visual experience in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, in particular in relation to the development of anatomical prints in Northern Europe.

Bibliographic information


'Such an anthology is certainly overdue, as studies of sexuality have tended to focus on queer exciting and interesting addition to the historiography of premodern sexuality.' - Emma Hawkes, Parergon

'This collection of essays is helpful to those who would appreciate an overview on how different academic fields investigate the 'material culture' of sex, marriage and procreation. The necessity of such a project for further historical studies cannot be emphasized enough.' - Medical History