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Journal > Volumes > 36 (2005) / 4 (Winter)
“Our Particular Cloister”: Ursulines and Female Education in Seventeenth-Century Parma and Piacenza
Danielle Culpepper
University of Mary Washington

This article discusses the relationship between enclosure and female education for Ursuline religious women in seventeenth-century Parma and Piacenza. These women, under the protection and jurisdiction of the Farnese court, did not submit to the strict religious enclosure that confined most early modern religious women. Instead, they negotiated a particular form of cloister that permitted them to leave heir home to attend church services. This enclosure offered the Ursulines and the girls in their car both the benefits and potential dangers of increased visibility. Evidence from convent registers and correspondence with the court in Parma suggests that local families valued the limited mobility of an Ursuline education as it allowed the controlled display of heir daughters in the public sphere.

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