New Series: Women and Gender in the Early Modern World

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The following contribution is from Allyson Poska and Abby Zanger, editors of the Women and Gender in the Early Modern World series. 

We are very excited about our new partnership with the University of Nebraska Press and the opportunity it provides to continue publishing the highest quality and most innovative research on early modern women and gender. After more than seventeen years working together as co-editors of a series that produced more than 115 volumes, moving Women and Gender in the Early Modern World to UNP offers us the chance to build on the strong reputation the series has earned, while continuing to push the boundaries of early modern gender studies. With the humanities under fire and historical topics increasingly undervalued, we can’t help feeling that the success of this series is a testament to the importance and vitality of the study of women and gender during the early modern period. The field out of which our series emerges demonstrates how important women’s history, their writings, thoughts, and lives, continue to be for understanding issues at the center of twenty-first century society, culture, and art.

Indeed, we do this work because we firmly believe that the study of early modern women defines the humanities in the new millennium as it looks beyond stereotypes to reconsider the role of gendered discourse in art, politics, literature, theology, and science, as well as at the experiences of women at all levels of society. Some of the most dynamic research in gender studies today explores lives through the lens of intersectionality, bringing depth to the women’s experiences and complicating our understanding of the relationship between gender and other contingent identities, including religion, class, sexualities, abilities, and ethnicities. We are excited by the way these researchers are asking questions that are redefining not only the field of early modern gender studies, but also the allied fields out of which their work emerges. Our goal is to encourage those cutting-edge scholars. At UNP, in addition to cultivating scholarship on sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe, a time period and geographical focus that has been at the heart of the series, we hope to attract scholars whose investigations extend into the long eighteenth century and researches working on women and gender in other parts of the early modern world. Of course, the most exciting scholarship is just around the corner and we are always seeking groundbreaking studies that will move the field in fresh and innovative directions.

The series’ move to UNP also offers our authors, our readers, and ourselves as editors important new benefits. During this period of uncertainty in the publishing industry, we appreciate the stability of working with a major university press. We are excited about the visibility and reputation that UNP offers our authors, and the series will have the support of UNP’s excellent marketing team. Moreover, with the move to a university press, the series will be better situated to help scholars earn tenure and promotion. Finally, our readers will be glad to see that UNP will produce e-books in all the major formats and even the possibility for some paperback editions.

Women and Gender in the Early Modern World’s transition to UNP is both a continuation of a successful formula and an exciting new start for us as collaborators at what we believe to be a pivotal moment in both our experience as series editors and in a research area that has established itself as crucial to scholarship across the disciplines. We hope our series will continue to lead this vibrant field. Indeed, we cannot wait to see what new directions the series will take us in as we continue to work with the dynamic group of scholars who are the core of early modern women’s and gender studies today.