Political theory in disguise – rethinking the history of political ideas through early modern women’s writing

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion

Short description

The project is just started and seeks funding. It will critically study the limits of the early modern history of political ideas. By tradition, this history consists of a number of texts written by men. Undoubtably important, the lack of women voices in the canon makes the history faulty. The project will scrutinize early modern women’s political ideas in disguise, that is, elaborated in textual genres available for women, such as novels, drama and letters. Two women are in focus – Margaret Cavendish and Eliza Haywood. They were prolific writers, politically aware and controversial public figures. How did they conceptualize central political challenges of their unruly times. Reading their fictional work as interventions in the political discourse provides a richer comprehension of a foundational period for the modern political theory.