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Global Queenship

Duration 6 weekly online meetings plus 6 asynchronous online hours
Tutor Dr Charlotte Pickard
Course code HIS23A5523A
Fee £249
Concessionary fee £199 (find out about eligibility and funding options)

Online course

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What was the role of the queen in the pre-modern world?

This module will explore the notion of queenship, through a series of case-studies introducing vibrant recent scholarship, which reinstates royal women in their rightful position as leaders in pre-modern societies across the world.

We will learn about queens’ roles as mothers and consorts responsible for the perpetuation of royal lines, but equally importantly as strong political figures, even as rulers in their own right, and as patrons of religion and culture.

We will also examine the ways in which these queens have been remembered and portrayed in modern culture. In taking a global approach, we will compare and contrast pre-modern queens from across the world, seeking to understand their position within their respective cultures.

In doing so, we will also explore modern approaches to studying queenship, and a wide range of written source material and surviving material culture, to understand the power of the queen in the pre-modern world.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through six asynchronous lectures and six two-hour online evening seminars.

These seminars will consist of group discussion and activities, which will enable students to think critically and contribute to the debates and topics presented during the lectures.

Students will also be expected to read relevant printed material and use that as the basis for contributions in class.

The discussion-led sessions and the lectures themselves will be supplemented by internet resources available to students via Learning Central.


  1. Understanding Queenship in the Pre-Modern World
  2. Raising Royal Children: Queens as Mothers
  3. Queen Consorts: The Role of the Royal Wife
  4. Queens Regnant: Ruling Monarchs
  5. Queens and Culture: Patronage and Piety
  6. Reassessing the Study of Global Queenship

Coursework and assessment

You will be expected to complete two pieces of assessed work:

  • a short source analysis
  • a 1000-word essay.

There will be lots of help and support available for both assignments.

Reading suggestions

  • Beem, C., Queenship in Early Modern Europe (London: Bloomsbury, 2019).
  • Earenfight, T., Queenship in Medieval Europe (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
  • Walthall, A., Servants of the Dynasty: Palace Women in World History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008).
  • Woodacre, E. (ed.), A Companion to Global Queenship (Leeds: Arc Humanities Press, 2018).

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.