LUCAS Explains #4: How to break the glass ceiling?

LUCAS Explains #4: How to break the glass ceiling?

Throughout history, women have been at the forefront of solving crises. Joan of Arc fought the English, Greta Thunberg fights climate change. But what allows some women to raise their voices while others are silenced?

In this video, Lieke Smits sheds light in this question from the perspective of women’s opportunities in medieval society. Some of them could speak out because of their visions and other religious experiences. They did face prejudice and discrimination, just as women do today. However, in a time of limited opportunities, visions gave women the chance to make their voices be heard.

Lieke Smits, 'How to break the glass ceiling? Some tricks and tips of medieval women'.


In the video series LUCAS Explains, young researchers tell about current societal and cultural topics from a historical or fresh point of view. The subjects range from diversity to national identity and from inclusiveness to migration. The videos stretch the history from the Classics to the present and from Europe to Asia. LUCAS Explains is published every other Tuesday. LUCAS Explains is a video series of Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society and SOON media Amsterdam.

Disclaimer: because of the COVID-19 virus, the publication of LUCAS Explains may be more irregular.


The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
Leiden University Libraries


Die gheestelicke melody, Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, LTK 2058.

Rothschild Canticles, New Haven, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 404.

Giovanni di Paolo, The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena, Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. nr. 1997.117.2.

© Lieke Smits and Leiden Arts in Society Blog, 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lieke Smits and Leiden Arts in Society Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Add a comment