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History Lecture Series

Maids in Men’s Clothes: Joan of Arc and the Tradition of Female Saints

Wed. Jan. 9, 2019      7:30–9 p.m.

Kane Hall 130

Charity Urbanski, Senior Lecturer of History, UW

Wearing men’s clothing protected Joan of Arc on the battlefield and exposed her to charges of heresy in the courts. Urbanski will explore why female saints who dressed as men for practicality and power were celebrated in certain circumstances — and punished in others.

Admission: $5–$15 (Individual lecture); $15–$50 (series pass); tickets available at the series homepage


Recommended Reading

The speakers have provided a short list of suggested reading designed to enhance your lecture experience and inspire future exploration. Many titles can be ordered through University Book Store, where UWAA members enjoy a 10% discount.

Download a printable recommended media list for all lectures here.

Books and Articles:

Regine Pernoud and Marie-Veronique Clin, Joan of Arc: Her Story (New York: Saint Martin’s Press, 1998)

Stephen J. David, “Crossed Texts, Crossed Sex: intertextuality and gender in Early Christian legends of holy women disguised as men,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 10/1 (2001), pp. 1-36

Paul Szarmach, “St. Euphrosyne: Holy Transvestite,” in Holy Men and Holy Women: Old English Prose Saints’ Lives and Their Contexts (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996), pp. 353-365

Martha Easton, “Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man?” in The Four Modes of Seeing: Approaches to Medieval Imagery in Honor of Madeline Harrison Caviness (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009)


Headshot: Charity UrbanskiCharity Urbanski is a Senior Lecturer in Medieval History specializing in France and England in the High Middle Ages. Since receiving her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 2007, she has taught at UC Berkeley, UCLA, and the UW. She is now in her tenth year at the University of Washington and has been nominated twice for the Distinguished Teaching Award. Her teaching and research interests include gender, power, politics and teratology. Her first book, Writing History for the King (Cornell University Press, 2013), examines the politics of vernacular historiography during the reign of Henry II of England, while her forthcoming book, Medieval Monstrosity (Routledge, 2021), explores medieval monsters, monster theory, and the rhetoric of monstrosity. Full bio.


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For more information, contact the UW Alumni Association at 206-543-0540 or uwalumni@uw.edu.