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Portraits and Poses. Female Intellectual Authority, Agency and Authorship in Early Modern Europe

Beatrijs Vanacker, Lieke van Deinsen (éd.)

VANACKER Beatrijs and VAN DEINSEN Lieke (éd.), 2022, Portraits and Poses. Female Intellectual Authority, Agency and Authorship in Early Modern Europe, Leuven University Press, Louvain.

Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural view on authority construction among early modern female intellectuals

The complex relation between gender and the representation of intellectual authority has deep roots in European history. Portraits and Poses adopts a historical approach to shed new light on this topical subject. It addresses various modes and strategies by which learned women (authors, scientists, jurists, midwifes, painters, and others) sought to negotiate and legitimise their authority at the dawn of modern science in Early Modern and Enlightenment Europe (1600–1800). This volume explores the transnational dimensions of intellectual networks in France, Italy, Britain, the German states and the Low Countries, among others. Drawing on a wide range of case studies from different spheres of professionalisation, it examines both individual and collective constructions of female intellectual authority through word and image. In its innovative combination of an interdisciplinary and transnational approach, this volume contributes to the growing literature on women and intellectual authority in the Early Modern Era and outlines contours for future research.

Contributors : Laura Beck Varela (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Feike Dietz (Utrecht University), Armel Dubois-Nayt (University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin/Paris-Saclay), Nina Geerdink (Utrecht University), Aurélie Griffin (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle), Seren Nolan (Durham University), Caroline Paganussi (Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte Naples), Marie-Emmanuelle Plagnol-Diéval (Univesity Paris-Est Créteil), Kelsey Rubin-Detlev (University of Southern California), Belinda Scerri (University of Melbourne), Catriona Seth (University of Oxford), Lien Verpoest (KU Leuven), Vera Viehöver (Université de Liège), Rotraud von Kulessa (Universität Augsburg), Valerie Worth-Stylianou (University of Oxford).

Ebook available in Open Access.
This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Portraying Female Intellectual Authority
An Introduction
Beatrijs Vanacker and Lieke van Deinsen

Part I : Individual and Collective Portraits of Female Intellectual Authority

Chapter 1
‘A woman of supreme goodness, and a singular talent’ : Anna Morandi Manzolini, Artist and Anatomist of Enlightenment Bologna
Caroline Paganussi

Chapter 2
Epistolary Relationship and Intellectual Identity in Maria Antonia
of Saxony’s Correspondence with Frederick the Great, 1763–1779
Kelsey Rubin-Detlev

Chapter 3
Between Defence and Affirmation : The Discursive Self-
Representation of Eighteenth-Century Women Authors in
France and Italy
Rotraud von Kulessa (translated by Kristen Gehrman)

Chapter 4
The Visual and Textual Portraits of Mme de Genlis : The Gouverneur, Educator, and Author of the Mémoires
Marie-Emmanuelle Plagnol-Diéval (translated by Kristen Gehrman)

Chapter 5
(Self-)Portrait of the Woman as (a Reluctant ?) Authority
Catriona Seth

Part II : Types and Models of Female Intellectual Authority

Chapter 6
Penning the Midwife’s Experience : Professional Skills, Publication, and Female Agency in Early Modern Europe
Valerie Worth-Stylianou

Chapter 7
Women’s Strength Made Perfect in Weakness : Paratextual Authority Constructions in Printed Vernacular Religious Literature by Early Modern Dutch Women Writers
Nina Geerdink and Feike Dietz

Chapter 8
‘Instructing herself by fad or fancy’ : Depictions and Fictions of Connoisseuses and Femmes Savantes in Eighteenth-Century Paris
Belinda Scerri

Chapter 9
Portraits of Female Mentors in Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (1611)
Aurélie Griffin

Chapter 10
Matrona Docta : Elizabeth Carter and Catherine Macaulay in the Guise of the Roman Matrona
Seren Nolan

Part III : The Diachronic Dynamics of Female Intellectual Authority

Chapter 11
Portraits of Mary, Queen of Scots, as an Intellectual in Seventeenth-
Century Collective Biographies
Armel Dubois-Nayt

Chapter 12
Women Jurists ? Representations of Female Intellectual Authority in Eighteenth-Century Jurisprudence
Laura Beck Varela

Chapter 13
‘Diotime’ and ‘La Muse Belgique’ : The Intellectual Mobility and Divergent Legacies of Amalia Gallitzin and Marie-Caroline Murray
Lien Verpoest

Chapter 14
‘It Wasn’t Enough for Me Just to Be a Singer’ : (Self-)Representations of the ‘German Prima Donna’ Gertrud Elisabeth Mara
Vera Viehöver

About the Authors

Beatrijs Vanacker is assistent professor of French literature and translation history at the Department of Literary Studies at KU Leuven.
Lieke van Deinsen is assistant professor of Dutch literature at the Department of Literary Studies at KU Leuven