Denise Bezzina has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant!

24 November 2023

Denise Bezzina, former member of MICOLL’s team and currently Research fellow in Medieval History at the University of Genoa, has just been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for her PatriFem project “Charting Female Property and Patrimonial Rights in Law and Practice Across Western Europe (12th-16th Centuries)”. Congratulations on this amazing achievement!

Denise will analyze the laws that, starting from the mid-12th century, were gradually enacted throughout Europe in order to limit women’s acquisition and management of property and assets, leading, on the threshold of the modern age, to a drastic reduction in their capacity to act. The situation in the centuries that will be analyzed is far from uniform, thus creating an extremely complex framework of very different laws and customs about which, to this day, very little is known.

The period taken into consideration by the project coincides with a founding phase in the perspective of contemporary Europe. Indeed, it was precisely in the early medieval centuries that profound economic, social and political transformations took place. Why did certain laws begin to be enacted at this precise time? To what extent and how did women’s economic rights vary from one context to another and why? How can we relate the reduction of women’s economic rights to the changes observed in the late Middle Ages?

Denise will lead a team of researchers for the next 5 years in order to answer those fascinating questions.