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Early Modern Europe; women and gender; sexuality; identity formation; cultural history; the Netherlands.
Ph.D., Rutgers University, 2007.
M.A. Leiden University, The Netherlands, 1999.
B.A. Wake Forest University, 1997.
My new project, tentatively titled: Dissenting Daughters: Early Modern Dutch Women’s Engagement in Political and Religious Disputes, will examine the surprising ways women took on some of the most volatile topics of their day. This book will focus on Protestant women who published polemic texts in Dutch between roughly 1638 and 1750, their male supporters and detractors, and how their literary talents allowed them to take part in public debate.
To start off this new project, I am working on a chapter focused on a group of influential Reformed pietists, who played a vital role in the so-called Nadere Reformatie – a religious movement akin to and influenced by English Puritanism, whose proponents are known as Dutch Pietists. In part, women’s religious influence in this “Continuing Reformation” was due to the insistence of this movement’s leaders that husbands and wives transform their families into small churches. They encouraged family members to sing, read, fast, and praise God together. These pious families oftentimes contained several generations of ministers and kept in close contact with other likeminded families thus forming broad networks across the Dutch Republic. The visibility of women in this domestic spiritual enterprise encouraged men to recognize their mothers’, aunts’, sisters’, and wives’ positive spiritual influence. Within these religious networks devout women and men learned from one another, circulated written works, supported one another’s religious goals, spread knowledge, formed friendships, and identified spouses.