An Abby Wright illustration of a women reading a book outside in the snow

There have been many social, historial and cultural factors contributing to the marginalization of ideas generated or transmitted by women. These were often considered not original or learned enough. The bulk of women’s works are put under a generic label of ‘early modern women’s writing’, even though we don’t have collections on ‘early modern men’s writing’. Attention to the specifics of gender interrogates the fixed categories of genre and text, since women did not always articulate thought within single textual units or genres traditionally associated with systemic thinking, such as the philosophical essay, the historical novel, or the political treatise.

Whether you are a man or a woman, what do you perceive as ‘feminine’ when you read a book or a text written in the distant past?