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Tracing Early Modern Plague in Women's Writing

Early Modern Women’s Plague Writing is a three-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral global fellowship (University of Toronto/Queen’s University Belfast) that will examine women’s plague writing and the gendering of pestilence in literature from 1550 to 1700. This website will provide a space to share project developments, related events and publications.

While the study of plague writing has received significant attention from literature and history scholars in recent years, no major consideration of the gender dimension of plague writing exists. This project will build upon the body of scholarship that addresses plague writing by turning to how women contributed to and shaped the discourse surrounding the disease in early modern England. It will further ask how representations of pestilence were gendered in early modern England.

With a broad chronology that includes significant outbreaks in 1592, 1603, 1625, 1630, 1636 and 1665, the project will study a full period of plague writing and address a range of genres and forms in which women wrote about the disease. From popular recipes attributed to women that described cures for the feared disease to life writing in which women referenced pestilence and its impact on day-to-day life, this project will explore the myriad ways in which women shaped how plague was understood in early modern England.


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