Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal; Volume 16.1 (Fall 2021) will feature a forum on “Early Modern Women and Epidemics”

June 10, 2020

Early Modern Women:

An Interdisciplinary Journal


Volume 16.1 (Fall 2021) will feature a forum on

“Early Modern Women and Epidemics”


As Covid-19 has swept the world, early modern scholars have become acutely aware of the ways that its manifestations and the public’s reactions to them have resonated with outbreaks of disease in the premodern world. Social boundaries change and class mobility is brought into sharp focus—who can stay home; who must work, who can escape “hot spots”; who cannot; who cares for the sick and how. Moreover, epidemics provoke plagues of fear, grief, and other emotions. How were people’s reactions to epidemic disease informed by gender and gender expectations? For this forum, we are interested in the myriad ways that gender is evoked in times of epidemics.  We seek essays that examine but are not limited to:


  • Epidemics and misogyny, including witchcraft

  • Women’s expressions of grief, fear, and other emotions in reaction to epidemics

  • Epidemics and caregiving

  • Epidemics as portrayed in literary works by female authors

  • Social and economic opportunities for women in the context of epidemic disease

  • Epidemics as portrayed in works of art by women

  • Epidemics, gender, and the history of early modern science 

  • Women and the material culture of epidemics
    Please send abstracts of 600 words to the editors (emwj@umw.edu) by 1 September 2020. Completed essays of 3500 words will be due on 30 January 2021.










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