Powerful Women in History

Ref: C2341184

For over a thousand years political structures and decision making has been in the hands of male rulers. But there have been a number of occasions when effective power has fallen into the hands of a female ruler, working either on their own or through their control over their husbands and sons. The Empress – Theodosia; the Queen-mother – Catherine de Medici; the Enlightened Despots – Maria Theresa and Catherine the Great; the grand-mother of Europe - Victoria Themes to be discussed:- Empress Theodosia and Emperor Justinian and the Byzantine Empire ‘The Monstrous Regimen of Women’ – Catherine, Mary, and Elizabeth Enlightened Despotism and women rulers. Family connections – Queen Victoria and her family

Additional information about this course


Course aim

To examine a number of occasions when women have exercised substantial control over the states in which they lived and influence their future for better or worse.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • identify the qualities necessary for women to gain and maintain power in the past
  • describe the tensions for powerful women of operating in a male-dominated world
  • evaluate present stereotypes of ‘powerful women’ in the context of the past.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Powerful Women in History


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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