Philosophical Foundations of Women's Rights 1600-1750

Associate Professor Jacqueline Broad 

About the project

I am lead investigator on the project The Philosophical Foundations of Women’s Rights: A New History, 1600–1750, funded by the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Project scheme. My co-investigators include Professor Deborah Brown (UQ) and Professor Marguerite Deslauriers (McGill).

This project aims to show that the history of women’s rights is much longer and richer than previously thought. There is a common perception that the notion of women’s rights first emerged in the late eighteenth century. This project expects to generate a new understanding of feminist history by investigating several texts calling for the recognition of women’s dignity, worth, nobility, and excellence (cognate concepts to rights) in England and Europe from 1600 to 1750, against the backdrop of the rise of Cartesianism.

Toward these goals, I recently edited a special journal issue of the Australasian Philosophical Review on “Women, Revolution, and Republicanism in the Eighteenth Century”, published in 2020.