Professor Deborah Youngs
Professor
History
Telephone: (01792) 513115
Room: Office - 106
First Floor
Keir Hardie Building
Singleton Campus

Deborah Youngs is Professor of History and Deputy Head of the College of Arts & Humanities. A social and cultural historian of late medieval Britain, she began her research career exploring aristocratic culture before writing on attitudes towards issues of ageing and the life cycle in 14th and 15th century Europe.

The intersection of age and gender has been an important theme throughout her career, and more recent research has focused on the experiences of women in England's law courts during the early Tudor period. She is currently PI on a 4-year collaborative project (funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council) entitled 'Women negotiating the Boundaries of Justice, c.1100-c.1750', which compares women's access to justice across Britain and Ireland. Her own work explores female litigants at the central courts of Star Chamber and Chancery, showing the challenges women faced, but also the strategies they employed to achieve successful outcomes. In addition, she is writing a monograph on the lives and experiences of women in Wales, 1350-1550.

Professor Youngs is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of MEMO, the Swansea Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Research.

Publications

  1. "A besy woman ... and full of lawe": female litigants in early Tudor Star Chamber. Journal of British Studies
  2. 'At HIR Owne Discrecion': Women and Will-Making In Late Medieval and Early Tudor Wales*. The Welsh History Review / Cylchgrawn Hanes Cymru 29(3), 408-435.
  3. '"A vice common in Wales": abduction, prejudice and the search for justice in the regional and central courts of early Tudor society'. In The Welsh and the medieval world, ed. by Patricia Skinner. (pp. 131-153). Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
  4. 'Entertainment networks, reading communities, and the early Tudor anthology: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson C.813'. In Margaret Connolly and Raluca Radulescu (Ed.), Insular Books: vernacular manuscript miscellanies in late medieval Britain. (pp. 231-246). Oxford: OUP/British Academy.
  5. 'She hym fresshely folowed and pursued': women and Star Chamber in early Tudor Wales. In Bronach Kane and Fiona Williamson (Ed.), Women, agency and the law, 1300-1700. (pp. 73-85). London: Pickering & Chatto.

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Teaching

  • HI-M87 Women and Gender in Wales, c.1350-c.1550

    This module explores the lives of women in Wales during the late medieval and early Tudor period. It focuses on the roles expected of women, the power they actually held and the active contribution they made to Welsh society. It will span all aspects of their lives, from birth to death: we will cover how they were educated; the work they undertook; their management and leadership roles; marriage, sex and divorce; their religious beliefs and practices; and how they were depicted in literature and art. Crucially, it will not assume that there was a single `type¿ of woman in Wales, however. Drawing on a range of primary sources, we will consider class distinctions, variables across the female life cycle, and potential changes over time: the module covers the period from the mid fourteenth century, when plague raged throughout the country, to the mid-sixteenth century with the unification of Wales and the first signs of religious reformation. This period has also been a focus of debate over the existence of historical `golden ages¿ for women: is it possible to detect `good¿ or `bad¿ eras for women in Wales? Did their opportunities change? Or was continuity of experience most evident across 1350-1550?

Supervision

  • Apprenticeship Indentures in England, 1250-1500 (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Matthew Stevens
  • Cultural Shift: Female Identity and Expression in the Evolution of the Shift Dress (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Stephen Mcveigh
  • Reception, Presentation and Purpose of Christine de Pizan in Tudor England Among The Middle Class. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Roberta Magnani

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Deputy Head of College, Arts & Humanities - Swansea University

    2011 - Present

  • Director of Learning & Teaching, College of Arts & Humanities - Swansea University

    2011 - 2016