Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name




Faculty Mentor

David Meola


During the early modern period, women were highly regulated by society. This regulation included everything from sumptuary laws restricting consumerism and clothing to exclusion from guilds and other occupational restrictions. Women were generally expected to remain within the household sphere and were discouraged from deviating from traditional norms. However, some early modern German women were able to challenge and subvert these expectations. Given the prescribed gender roles often enforced within early modern German society, what prominent roles and industries, if any, were women able to participate in outside of the household? “Women Outside the Household in Early Modern Germany” utilizes a case study approach to analyze the ability of early modern German women to participate in the fields of medicine, commerce, and scholarship. A variety of circumstances, including social status, financial stability, and familial support, either supported or further restricted the ability of early modern German women to participate in these fields. Through the efforts of these women, gender norms within early modern Germany were challenged, and some women were able to find more avenues for their talents.