Locating Early Modern Women’s Participation in the Public Sphere of Botany
Agnes Block (1629-1704) and Networks in Print
Keywords:informal institutions, public sphere, female agency, Agnes Block, botany
Although we are frequently confronted with an image of early modern Dutch women as existing primarily, if not exclusively, within the realm of household management, the reality was far more nuanced. A case study of Agnes Block (1629-1704) shows that by focusing on relationships, she succeeded in participating in the creation and dissemination of knowledge of botany in the public sphere and achieved recognition in that sphere, notwithstanding the institutional limits imposed upon her due to her gender. By adapting our methodological and analytical frameworks, in this case by looking to social networks and the power of print media, we can recover the stories of early modern women that are otherwise obscured in the archives and write them into history.
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