Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present

By Sue V. Rosser | Go to book overview

Renaissance

CYNTHIA KLESTINEC

Until recently, it was assumed that women, largely undereducated, did not play a significant role in the cultural developments of the Renaissance. In many ways, however, women were important to the literary, political, and scientific developments of this period. Some gained access to print—the most important technology of the day—reading books as well as writing them. They became astoundingly well educated, establishing themselves among the elite and shaping the intellectual, humanist traditions of scholarship. Others sought to develop their own communities, traditions of communication, and beliefs. In direct and indirect ways, women helped to shape the cultural programs of the Renaissance, including those associated with the Scientific Revolution.

From 1450 to 1650, Europe witnessed profound changes in technological capacity, political landscape, social customs, and literary traditions. This period saw the rise of print, the flourishing of humanist and civic culture, and the expansion of trade in urban centers across the continent and with “the rest of the world” (a phrase that could only appear, as Mary Louise Pratt has shown, when Europe had an idea of itself as something different from and often opposed to non-European others, which was another development of the Renaissance). These changes were both guides and sources of inspiration for the Scientific Revolution; and like the Scientific Revolution itself, the history of these sweeping changes depends on the ideas, activities, and communities of men and women alike.


Print Culture and Humanism

In Mainz, Germany, around 1450, printing with movable type was perfected, and while the invention has been attached variously to the names of Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust as well as Peter Schöffer, the year 1450 provides a useful marker for the beginning of the Renaissance. Matched perhaps only by the Internet today, the printing press was to have the most profound impact

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Women, Science, and Myth: Gender Beliefs from Antiquity to the Present
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Chronological Section- Changes in Myths of Gender over Time 1
  • Antiquity 3
  • Medieval Era 17
  • Renaissance 31
  • The 18th Century 43
  • The 19th Century 61
  • Early 20th Century 79
  • Thematic Section- Concepts of Gender in Different Contexts 93
  • Disciplines - Chemistry 95
  • Physics/Astronomy 103
  • Mathematics 109
  • Computer Science 115
  • Biology 123
  • Psychology 129
  • Medicine 135
  • Technology 141
  • Aspects of Human Biology and Behavior - The Brain 149
  • Cognitive Abilities 155
  • Mental Illness 161
  • Personality/Rationality/Emotionality 167
  • Endocrinology and Hormones 173
  • Menstruation/Menopause/PMS 177
  • Early Modern Health 181
  • Gender/Sex—How Conjoined 187
  • Homosexuality 193
  • Race 201
  • Nature/Nurture 207
  • Institutions - Women’s Education 213
  • Motherhood 223
  • Religion 229
  • Universities 235
  • Federal Agencies 249
  • Industry 259
  • Professional Societies 263
  • Discrimination 273
  • Women Scientists as Leaders 283
  • Nobel Laureates 295
  • Gender and Occupational Interests 319
  • Other Perspectives on Gender and Myths and Beliefs in Scientific Research - Feminist Philosophy of Science 325
  • Biologists Who Study Gender/Feminism 337
  • Historians of Science and Technology Who Focus on Feminism 347
  • Primatologists Who Focus on Females/Gender 357
  • Critiques of Science 365
  • Marxism/Socialism and Feminism/Gender 373
  • Ecofeminism 381
  • Cyberfeminism 387
  • Race, Postcolonial Gender, and Science 393
  • Feminist Science Studies 399
  • Women’s Health Movement 405
  • Science Fiction 419
  • Conclusion 427
  • Appendix of- Statistical Tables 437
  • Glossary 445
  • Bibliography 469
  • Index 481
  • About the Editor 501
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