This lively collection of essays, originally published in 1989, illustrated recent developments in the area, with chapters by contributors from many different countries and disciplines.

Asking new questions and using sources in a challenging way, the contributors reflect 1980s debates about politics and academic research in women's studies. They cover a wide range of topics, dealing for example with opportunities and obstacles for women within male-defined power-structures and institutions such as science, religious communities, and ancient Roman industry. They discuss feminists and feminist movements, analyse the utterances of women and men in medieval literature and in defamation cases, and give insights into the ways femaleness and femininity are given meaning. The essays on theory deal with such important issues as women's historiography, and androcentrism and ethnocentrism in history.