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International Federation for Research in Women's History


This programme of the International Federation for Research in Women's History (IFRWH) will take place from Wednesday 25 - Friday 27 August at Aletta, Institute for Women's History, Obiplein 4, 1094 RB Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
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0. Key Note Speech: Prof. Barbara Caine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, "The Trials and Tribulations of a Black Woman Leader: Lillian Ngoyi and the South African Liberation Struggle, c1950-1980"
 
1.  Unequal Motherhood: Transnational Perspectives
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This panel investigates the marginalisation of mothers across a range of western nations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It demonstrates ways in which the absence of a male breadwinner and/or the presence of children have limited women’s exercise of full citizenship rights.
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Contributor: Ida Blom - Marginalised motherhood: Unmarried and widowed mothers. Norway c. 1900 – c. 1970   Show   Download
Contributor: Ida Blom - Marginalised motherhood: Unmarried and widowed mothers. Norway c. 1900 – c. 1970   Hide   Download
Marginalised motherhood: Unmarried and widowed mothers. Norway c. 1900 – c. 1970

This paper studies public policies of economic support for mothers of children without a providing father. The widely accepted norm of a married mother as the ideal mother is contrasted with demands and control directed at unmarried and widowed mothers as preconditions for public support. A burgeoning change in sexual norms, in gendered perceptions of motherhood and of fathers as sole providers is analysed as part of the gradual construction of a welfare state. The result may be seen as attempts to change public support for these mothers from a last and demeaning resort to a citizen’s right.

Contributor: Dr. Bettina Bradbury - White Widows' Wishes in 19th Century British Colonies   Show
Contributor: Dr. Bettina Bradbury - White Widows' Wishes in 19th Century British Colonies   Hide
White Widows' Wishes in 19th Century British Colonies

This paper explores widows’ wishes about support and inheritance as expressed in petitions, court cases or wills in several nineteenth-century British colonies. Many white widows faced challenges in supporting themselves and their families after a husband’s death. This was true in colonial contexts as in the metropole. In colonial contexts widows’ whiteness shaped claims for support when husbands were killed by “natives.” Their attempts to situate sons and daughters on the land built upon and contributed to colonial projects. Drawing on case studies from Quebec, New Zealand and the Cape it seeks to read the women’s requests and wishes as ways to locate white widows conceptually in the literature on gender and empire, colonialism and comparative law.
Contributor: Prof. Barbara Brookes - “Lesser Motherhood? Mothers of Disabled Children in New Zealand in the Mid Twentieth Century”   Show
Contributor: Prof. Barbara Brookes - “Lesser Motherhood? Mothers of Disabled Children in New Zealand in the Mid Twentieth Century”   Hide
“Lesser Motherhood? Mothers of Disabled Children in New Zealand in the Mid Twentieth Century”

When welcoming their new babies into the world, mothers often asked is s/he all right? This paper explores the on-going consequences when others were told “no”. I will argue that the mothers of disabled children, were themselves seen as “unequal sisters”; they often felt shame, and searched their past for an explanation of why they had given birth to a less than “perfect” child. I will argue that those who organized to fight for the rights of the disabled worked to overturn the shame that these mothers felt. Organisations advocating for the disabled wanted to shame the wider culture for its inability to accept difference.
Contributor: Prof. Shurlee Swain - Unequal Access: Australian women and child care, 1950-2000   Show
Contributor: Prof. Shurlee Swain - Unequal Access: Australian women and child care, 1950-2000   Hide
Unequal Access: Australian women and child care, 1950-2000

Although feminist organizations have long identified access to quality child care as central to women’s liberation, Australian women remain far short of achieving this goal. In the second half of the nineteenth century an ideological preference for stay-at-home mothering co-existing uneasily with economic demands for greater female participation in the workforce has bedevilled campaigns for systematic provision of child care. Drawing on research into the experiences of working mothers in Australia, this paper will argue that the services and subsidies that have been developed have not been responsive to the needs of poor and unsupported women who struggle to balance their work and child care responsibilities.
Discussant: Prof. Patricia Grimshaw
 
2.  Exploring Women's Relationships Across Racialized Hierarchies
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This panel explores relationships between between women in both a settler colonial nation, Australia, and also in the colonial setting of India. It focuses upon a range of relationships between women in relation to racialized hierarchies.
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Contributor: Prof. Margaret Allen - ‘A breach of confidence by their greatly beloved principal’   Show
Contributor: Prof. Margaret Allen - ‘A breach of confidence by their greatly beloved principal’   Hide
‘A breach of confidence by their greatly beloved principal’

In 1940, Eleanor McDougall, the foundation principal of Women’s Christian College (WCC) in Madras (now Chennai) published Lamps in the Wind: South Indian College Women and their Problems (Edinburgh House, London, 1940). The semi-fictionalised account was written with the purpose of explaining to sympathetic readers in Britain and the US, ‘a new element in the complex modern life of ancient India, the educated woman.’(p.7) The title suggests that the educated woman In India was not yet a resilient character. Strong independent judgement and individuality might not be achieved in the face of traditional family and cultural values. Mc Dougall, a British woman, wrote about the college, which she headed from 1915-1938, seeking to disguise the identities of those she critiqued, stating ’it would be very unjust to attach stories of weakness or moral failure or mental confusion to any particular alumnae of the college.’ (p. 8)
Indian staff at the college were ‘deeply hurt by …a picture of the Indian woman student which stresses her weakness unduly.’ Furthermore they considered that certain former students had been clearly identified and that this ‘constituted a breach of the confidence they have always given their greatly beloved Principal.’ It would seem that they did not like being depicted as ‘types’ whose foibles and misadventures could be discussed as evidence of a project of British and American women.
Maina Chawla Singh has recently discussed Indian women’s attitudes to the foreign women who were their teacher and headmistresses in the colonial period. She found they were remembered not as colonial oppressors but rather fondly as mentors and as generous pioneers. This incident raises further issues around the nature of the relationships between Indian girls and women and their foreign teachers and school principals.
Eleanor Rivett, an Australian and McDougall’s successor, had to smooth the troubled waters caused by the publication. She seemed to take a more respectful, even egalitarian approach to her Indian colleagues and students and during her many years as a school principal in Calcutta (Kolkata) she had worked alongside Indian feminists in various organizations and activities to advance the position of Indian women. But like MacDougall, her agenda in India was to change Indian women, to work for their ‘uplift’. This agenda had implications for her relationships with her Indian colleagues and friends. This paper will explore the differences and also the congruencies in the relationships of these two women, missionaries from different eras and differently placed in relation to the metropole, with their Indian students and colleagues.
Contributor: Dr. Jane Haggis - The Mission of sisterhood and the politics of whiteness: British and Indian women reformers in the British missionary movement 1875-1940.   Show   Download
Contributor: Dr. Jane Haggis - The Mission of sisterhood and the politics of whiteness: British and Indian women reformers in the British missionary movement 1875-1940.   Hide   Download
The Mission of sisterhood and the politics of whiteness: British and Indian women reformers in the British missionary movement 1875-1940.

This paper engages with recent historical studies outlining how a politics of whiteness gained global ascendancy during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, establishing “’whiteness’ as a transnational form of racial identification …”. This politics however, was not a straightforwardly binary politics of white supremacy and racial exclusion. Hegemonic whiteness during this period was in fact a discourse of ‘white crisis’ in part fuelled by the emergent transnational movements for racial equality and the end of colonialism. As Robert Holton argues in his analysis of the 1911 Universal Races Congress, a multiplicity of spaces were opening up: of “intercultural encounters, intermixture and fusion, as much as conflict and separatism”. Gender was crucial to the politics of race in this era. Lake and Reynolds demonstrate how hegemonic whiteness was articulated in terms of masculinity and the identity of the ‘white man’. Sandra Holton, in her study of British Quaker women reformers active in the transnational movements over segregation and racism during the period, argues there is a shift in thinking about racial difference. A more ambiguous continuum of positions is produced she suggests, in the interstices of scientific racism, and maternalist feminism on the one hand, and a growing auto-critique of British racism and colonialism, alongside a more visible (to the white reformer) autonomous agency of black activists. This was a continuum in which “some black individuals appeared more equal with white than others” at the same time as there was “a weakening of the form and degree of identity that had previously been possible between black and white activists”. The paper explores this ‘other’ side of the politics of race through a case study of British and Indian women involved in progressive politics through the institutional context of the British protestant missionary movement. The paper focuses on the nature of the relationships between British and Indian women as they emerge from the textual remnants of various kinds of correspondence – personal letters, magazine articles, official reports and conference proceedings - in terms of the changing nature of hierarchies of race, gender and class as hypothesized by Sandra Holton and the possibilities of new forms of collaboration across the borders of difference.
Contributor: Dr. Victoria Haskins - "The privilege of employing natives": Aboriginal domestic service and Asian-Australian women   Show
Contributor: Dr. Victoria Haskins - "The privilege of employing natives": Aboriginal domestic service and Asian-Australian women   Hide
"The privilege of employing natives": Aboriginal domestic service and Asian-Australian women

In the early 1920s Miss Quan Sing fought the Western Australian authorities to be allowed to engage an Aboriginal woman, Roebourne Annie, and Bobbydal, an Aboriginal man, as domestic workers in her home. As the daughter of a prominent Chinese Australian importer, based in Derby in northwestern Australia, Quan Sing’s confrontation with the racially charged policies of Aboriginal administration was part of a longer family narrative, that would continue until the very brink of the Second World War. Her father, who had historically employed Indigenous workers since the late nineteenth century, found his position to do so challenged by the hardening White Australia policies in the early twentieth century. He argued for the need of an Aboriginal woman to support his Chinese wife in her confinement, but had no more success in this endeavour than would his daughter, a decade later, in her appeal for a woman servant, an appeal she couched in terms of getting a ‘fair place’. This failure stands in contrast to the contemporary mythology that surrounded white Australian women’s employment of Aboriginal domestic servants, a mythology that accompanied the rise of government control in this arena and the use of domestic service as a means of breaking down Indigenous communities, as well as the development of a feminist pro-Aboriginal agenda. As the site for sustained government intervention in Australia, Indigenous domestic service served as a crucial location for the defining and indeed firming of hierarchical boundaries of class and race. By attending to the intensely gendered nature of this site and, more particularly, of the nature of historical intervention and resistance at this site, the central significance of women’s work and women’s relationships to the colonial project is revealed. ‘Quan Sing’s affair’ (as one official described it) further sheds light on the complex hierarchies of race that relationships between Aboriginal, ‘Asiatic’, and white Australian women represented, and the anxieties of the settler nation these relationships generated. This paper on Asian women’s employment of Aboriginal women as domestic workers, growing out of a major research project into the history of Indigenous and settler women’s relationships in domestic service, explores the historical significance of domestic service to colonization, drawing upon my insights into the significance of personal family histories in white Australian employment of Indigenous domestic labour. In exploring women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective, it provides a unique insight into the intensely racialized nature of ‘women’s work’ in settler colonial nations.
Contributor: Dr. Karen Hughes - Federation’s Children – Re-conceived from women’s lives:   Show
Contributor: Dr. Karen Hughes - Federation’s Children – Re-conceived from women’s lives:   Hide
Federation’s Children – Re-conceived from women’s lives:

In this paper I look at the private and public lives of three white settler-descended Australian women, born in the years immediately following Australian Federation in 1901, and examine the impact of the notorious Immigration Restriction Act 1901 (or White Australia policy) and other racially motivated acts that followed, on their relationships with Australian Indigenous women, people and communities.

Often personal cross-cultural relationships lived out in women’s so called private domestic spaces were profoundly ‘other’ to those being engineered by the State. Indeed those women born closer to the moment of Federation grew up in a much more indigenised, bicultural world to those born later when Australia’s increasingly segregated racial policies were fully enforced, and in turn their attitudes and ways of being were quite differently shaped.

I explore the manner in which women created resistant micro-worlds that were both feminised and cross-culturalised, challenging and re-conceiving Federation’s white Anglo-Australian imperative. Particular focus is given to the biography of Ruth Heathcock, born in the month of Federation, whose bicultural childhood experiences led to her later pro-Aboriginal activism working with Aboriginal women, to intervene against the enforcement against some of the harsher laws and policies.
Discussant: Dr. Jacqueline Van Gent
 
3.  Shifting Comparisons: Feminists and Slaves in India and the West
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This panel explores the broad theme of “unequal sisters” between 1830 and 1940 by focusing on three groups of women from different walks of life in India and the West: early radical Western feminists and their views of non-Western women’s oppression, enslaved women in ante-bellum America and colonial India, and an Indian feminist’s interactions with the West at the start of World War II.
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Contributor: Prof. Bonnie Anderson - From Equality to Superiority: Early Radical Feminists and Non-Western Women   Show   Download
Contributor: Prof. Bonnie Anderson - From Equality to Superiority: Early Radical Feminists and Non-Western Women   Hide   Download
From Equality to Superiority: Early Radical Feminists and Non-Western Women

From the 1830s to the 1860s, most radical feminists in the United States and Western Europe saw their own oppression as identical to that of women in India, China, the Ottoman Empire, and elsewhere. Women's oppression was viewed as universal and shared. Lucretia Mott, for instance, frequently equated Indian suttee with Western "priestcraft," which distorted the Bible to support male dominance. Others compared corsets to the Muslim veil, forced marriages to the harem, "crippled minds" to the cippled feet produced by binding. By the last quarter of the 19th century, however, the growth of nationalism and imperialism led most Western feminists to claim superiority andd to attempt to impose their views on their non-Western sisters.
Contributor: Ms. Julie Laut - Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya: An Indian Feminist in America, 1939-1941   Show
Contributor: Ms. Julie Laut - Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya: An Indian Feminist in America, 1939-1941   Hide
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya: An Indian Feminist in America, 1939-1941

Julie Laut Barbieri’s “Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya: An Indian Feminist in America, 1939-41” charts the passage of this Indian independence activist and socialist from Europe to the United States and back to India. Championing Indian independence to diverse audiences in a dozen nations, Kamaladevi (who was always known by her first name) networked with women in government, labor, business, and birth control, whom she was both influenced by and influenced. Part of a larger biographical project, Kamaladevi’s experiences in the United States offer a unique opportunity to explore continuities and changes in the international women’s movement from the perspective of a South Asian socialist and feminist.
Contributor: Prof. Gunja Sengupta - Enslaved Women and Kinship in the United States and India: Comparative Perspectives   Show
Contributor: Prof. Gunja Sengupta - Enslaved Women and Kinship in the United States and India: Comparative Perspectives   Hide
Enslaved Women and Kinship in the United States and India: Comparative Perspectives

This paper will demonstrate the different ways in which the trope of kinship interacted with slavery in the Old South and India. American masters represented plantation slavery as an organic patriarchy more humane than free labor capitalism, thereby obscuring any linkage between slavery, forced reproduction, and the market. By contrast, slave-holding sex workers in India responded to Anglo-American abolitionists by arguing that their ability to buy new “daughters” who were Hindu widows, East African concubines, or famine victims was essential to creating familial-professional guilds. The matriarchal communities they forged lived in relatively egalitarian groups, eschewing marriage, and worshipping their own pantheon of goddesses. Unlike the ante-bellum South, their world defied bourgeois gender norms whether Anglo-American or Indian.
Discussant: Dr. Judith P. Zinsser
 
4.  Women's Journals in the Ottoman and post-Ottoman Balkans (19th and Early 20th Centuries): Social Inequalities and Feminisms
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This panel discusses publications within the Ottoman Empire and the post-Ottoman Balkans by women of different millets or ethic/national origins, during the nineteenth and up to the first decades of the twentieth century. It particularly focuses on journals, though women’s print cultures in general are also taken into consideration. The panel aims to illustrate a) how women of different religion/ethnic origins challenged/fought social inequalities and hierarchies, such as social class, ethnicity, education, and established dressing customs and b) how the concept of “feminism” played out in different ethnic-national/religious contexts and how it functioned as a signifier that distinguished between ideologically differently positioned women’s right advocates. The panel demonstrates the plurality of women’s voices and shows how this plurality was reflected in journals published within the same historical territory and during the same historical period.
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Contributor: Dr. Katerina Dalakoura - Challenging Education in the Ottoman Greek Female Journals, 1845-1907: A Declining "Feminist Discourse"   Show
Contributor: Dr. Katerina Dalakoura - Challenging Education in the Ottoman Greek Female Journals, 1845-1907: A Declining "Feminist Discourse"   Hide
Challenging Education in the Ottoman Greek Female Journals, 1845-1907: A Declining "Feminist Discourse"

The paper’s intension is to present how Ottoman Greek women challenged social inequalities through press, during the Tanzimat period and up to the 1908 Constitutional Reform. The paper will be mainly based on three journals published in Istambul, namely Kypseli (1845), Evrydiki (1870-1873) and Bosporis (1899-1907), though Greek women’s journals published in other ottoman cities will be additionally taken into consideration. The presentation will focus on the journals’ discourse on education inequalities. The debates on women’s education, the argumentation and philosophical platforms provided, illustrate the changing contents of “equality”, “inequality”, “social injustice” and “female emancipation” notions. The presentation will try to evince the impact of the changing ideologies and political events/circumstances on the changing content of the educational debates and on a declining “feminist” discourse reflected in the aforementioned journals.
Contributor: Dr. Biljana Dojčinović -Nešić - Feminism and the Emancipation of Women in Serbian Printed Culture, 1870-1914   Show
Contributor: Dr. Biljana Dojčinović -Nešić - Feminism and the Emancipation of Women in Serbian Printed Culture, 1870-1914   Hide
Feminism and the Emancipation of Women in Serbian Printed Culture, 1870-1914

I will focus on the beginnings of feminist thinking in Serbia – the usage of terms feminism, emancipation, and similar notions designating the need to rethink women’s status in society, as they appeared in various journals and other printed material. I will focus on the socialist roots of feminist thinking and the results of it – the translation of J.S. Mill-s book, speeches and articles by socialists; on the relation of Ottoman heritage and issue of emancipation of women, and last, but not the least, the issues of women writers, editors and translators before the beginning of the First World War, as presented in magazines, journals and books of the time.
Contributor: Anastassia Falierou - Debating Styles of Dress in the Ottoman Turkish Women’s Periodicals, 1908-1923   Show
Contributor: Anastassia Falierou - Debating Styles of Dress in the Ottoman Turkish Women’s Periodicals, 1908-1923   Hide
Debating Styles of Dress in the Ottoman Turkish Women’s Periodicals, 1908-1923

Drawing on a range of articles published on the popular women’s periodicals between 1908 and 1923, I will direct my attention, in this paper, to the transformations of Ottoman Turkish women’s clothing and styles’ of dress. I will present three general frameworks that help analyze the question of the development of styles in Ottoman dress: In the first part, I will attempt to analyze women’s clothing and describe its development over the course of time. The study of styles of dress implies a profound reflection on clothing as a symbolic complex. Choices of colours, patterns, fabric and materials are not innocent: they affirm a social or cultural identity; they define one’s position in an established hierarchy, projecting differences in status and values, in position and class. In the second part, I will focus on the question of the excessive consumption. According to Ottoman morality, woman was complimentary, but not equal to, man; as a particularly female defect, excessive consumption and extravagance in appearance was seen as challenging the established social order. Finally, in the third part of my paper, I will refer to the hygienic clothing, as a new order of dress.
Discussant: Dr. Nadezhda Alexandrova
 
5.  Rethinking Clara Zetkin's Legacy
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The purpose of this panel is to explore the reception and influence of German socialist leader Clara Zetkin in different historical and national contexts, with emphasis on how her interpretation of inequalities among women and her class-based construction of feminism affected women’s movements and leftist politics. Zetkin’s international career included her founding of an international organisation and convening of meetings among socialist women, for purposes that included stopping hostilities among belligerent countries during the First World War as well as promoting socialist revolution. Her effectiveness in promulgating her ideas across international borders constitutes a case study in the transnational transfer of ideas and political strategies. This panel also opens discussion of the socialist women’s international, which has attracted less attention than non-socialist international organisations among women.
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Contributor: Prof. Marilyn J. Boxer - Clara Zetkin and France: Eight-Year Exile, Eighty-Year Influence   Show
Contributor: Prof. Marilyn J. Boxer - Clara Zetkin and France: Eight-Year Exile, Eighty-Year Influence   Hide
Clara Zetkin and France: Eight-Year Exile, Eighty-Year Influence

This paper explores the reception and influence of international socialist leader Clara Zetkin in France. It focuses on the effects of Zetkin's early exile from Germany and experiences as an impoverished breadwinner in Paris on her politics; and of the impact on French socialism and feminism of her construction of women’s rights movements as ‘bourgeois’ and ineffective in improving working-class women's lives; and on the afterlife of Zetkin’s ideas on feminisms of the 1970s. It also examines Zetkin's impact on the congress of Tours in 1920, where French socialism split over whether to join the new Third International.
Contributor: Dr. John Partington - The International Women's Secretary in Wartime: Clara Zetkin and Britain, 1912-1919   Show   Download
Contributor: Dr. John Partington - The International Women's Secretary in Wartime: Clara Zetkin and Britain, 1912-1919   Hide   Download
The International Women's Secretary in Wartime: Clara Zetkin and Britain, 1912-1919

Introduction Clara Zetkin was a leading member of the left wing of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) from 1878 to 1917, being active in the party's internal policy debates, its women's movement, the Second International (SI) and the Socialist Women's International (SWI). Her opposition to the SPD's support for the Great War eventually led her to join the Independent Social Democrats (USPD) in 1917 and the Spartacist League in 1918, which was rechristened the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) the following year. In the Second International Not only was Zetkin a leading socialist activist in Germany, but her activism within the SI from its inception in 1889 introduced her ideas to the world socialist movement, including that in Britain. However, Zetkin's reception in Britain was not simply through the prism of the SI, but she was in contact with British socialists such as Dora Montefiore and Eleanor Marx-Aveling (as well as the London-based Friedrich !
> Engels) and from the 1890s she published regularly in socialist periodicals. Zetkin's initial public outlet in Britain was the weekly journal of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF), Justice, though in the immediate pre-Great War period she also became a writer for Labour Woman, the journal of the Women's Labour League (WLL), and both of these journals made frequent mention of Zetkin in their editorials and articles. Zetkin's reception in Britain was also felt through her foundation of the SWI, a conference which was staged from 1907 ahead of the general SI congress. In 1915, Zetkin's anti-war fervour was expressed through the holding of the International Socialist Women's Peace Conference in Bern, an illegal gathering which resulted in Zetkin's imprisonment. Nonetheless, the conference attracted British delegates and was reported in the British press, providing a fillip for the minority peace movement in Britain. Anti-militarism, 1912-1918 Having been a presence in the!
> British press from 1889, and having visited Britain in 1896 and 1909,
> this paper will consider Zetkin's continued presence in British political culture between 1912 and 1919. Although Zetkin first expressed her antiwar sentiments in the British media in 1899, with her condemnation of the Second Anglo-Boer War, she became more practically involved in peace propaganda through her involvement in the 1912 peace conference of the Second International in Basle. Then, from 1914, she became a vocal opponent of the Great War, and her journalism and activism were beacons of light in a Britain where few Germans were reported in a positive manner. Perhaps Zetkin's greatest wartime achievement was the organisation of the International Socialist Women's Peace Conference in Bern in 1915, which was the first international event of the war to attract delegates from the disputant nations, as well as from neutral countries. I will discuss how Zetkin was reported in Britain during the crisis of the Great War, what her message was, and how she was received by the!
> socialist women who were her primary constituency in her role as International Secretary of the international socialist women's movement.
Contributor: Prof. Susan Zimmermann - Klara Zetkin Goes International: How the 'Female International' of Socialist Women Related to Power and Inequality in the Inter-state and Domestic Order   Show
Contributor: Prof. Susan Zimmermann - Klara Zetkin Goes International: How the 'Female International' of Socialist Women Related to Power and Inequality in the Inter-state and Domestic Order   Hide
Klara Zetkin Goes International: How the 'Female International' of Socialist Women Related to Power and Inequality in the Inter-state and Domestic Order

This paper tells three interrelated “stories” about how the “weibliche Internationale” – a term the Arbeiterinnenzeitung, the journal of the Austrian social-democratic women’s movement had coined in a slightly ironic twist – related to power and inequality in the inter-state system and how this connected to its self-positioning and politics regarding inequality, i.e. gendered and other, within states. Klara Zetkin, of course, played a crucial role in “producing” the related positioning of the international organization of social-democratic women. Yet at the same time her politics can be interpreted in an adequate manner only if read against developments in both the Second International and women’s internationalism, and in the context of the Ungleichzeitigkeit of social and political reform “on the ground” in different countries. In this way my research on Klara Zetkin’s internationalism is informed by a larger interest in exploring the changing relationship between domestic and international reform politics (both social and political) and in examining how the entanglement and relationship between different international movements and organizations shaped their respective politics. The three “stories” I summarize in this paper deal with the establishment of the socialist women’s International; representational politics within the women’s International; and the self-positioning and politics over peace and war as pursued by the women’s International.
The establishment of the women’s International in 1907 was a result of an international struggle over class, gender, and the vote. This struggle, and its outcome, can be explained by a variety of factors and their interaction, among them: the unequal development of male suffrage in different countries; the relationship between the politics of reducing/enlarging the gender and the class gaps in suffrage as pursued by the International Woman Suffrage Alliance and international socialism; the ambiguities in handling the “woman question” within the Second International; and the “spaces of opportunity” for establishing an international organization of socialist women within the orbit of the Second International.
Representational politics within the women’s International, my second “story,” were strongly shaped by both Klara Zetkin’s (and Rosa Luxemburg’s) political radicalism and the women’s International’s close relationship with the Second International. Taken together this resulted in deep ambiguity when it came to deciding about the representation of “nations without state” within the women’s International. While the women’s International’s close relationship with the Second International contributed to this ambiguity is also allowed for a substantial amount of political freedom for the women’s International in developing its representational politics. The analysis allows for a comparative interpretation of how reform-internationalisms in the early 20th century related to inequality and power relations within the international order.
The third “story” that I will tell deals with the self-positioning and politics over peace and war as pursued by the women’s International. Political vision and politics over peace and war can be understood as a quintessential element of politics within and in relation to the inter-state system, and, at least in the view of the more radical anti-war activists, over the relation between the international and the domestic order. Under Zetkin’s leadership, the women’s International made the topic of peace and war into its only principle field of interest that didn’t (from their point of view) directly or exclusively relate to the “woman question”. This was largely due to the women’s International’s political strategy in relation to both the Second International and, especially during the war, to non-socialist women’s internationalism, as well as to Zetkin’s and Luxemburg’s political positioning in international socialism. This constellation and the particular organizational positioning of the women’s International in relation to the Second International allowed for pro-active and politically specific anti-war politics before and especially in the early stages of the war.
In closing the paper I summarize how particular political dynamics and inequalities of power and social position within countries, internationally, and among internationalisms contributed to the establishment, development, and political positioning of the socialist women’s International in three key fields of action.
Discussant: Dr. Rochelle Ruthchild
 
6.  Jewishness into Feminism: Questions of Transnational Intersection
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Some students of the women’s movements of the late 19th century up to the Second World War have suggested that Jewish women were remarkably ‘over-represented’ in those organizations. In this panel we do not want to prove or disprove this suggestion by counting feminist heads, neither do we want to look for social factors that might explain this possible over-representation, nor will we dwell on possible suspicions about why this particular ‘overrepresentation’ has been perceived to exist at all. Instead, we want to take up the theme of Jewish women in feminism as a specific case of doing research on ethnicity as a factor in feminism and avoiding its political pitfalls. In this context we will understand ethnicity in the classical tradition of Max Weber, Fredrik Barth and Thomas H. Eriksen as a catch-all term for identity-formation in terms of a (perceived) common heritage, in which for instance descent, kinship, language, gender and religion can play a more or less important role. Ethnicity in general may range from the most fluid to the most solid, but is always contested, and Jewishness does exemplify this as few other ethnic identities do. We are interested in discussing what happens when this ethnicity intersects with gender in an environment (feminism, women’s movements) in which the contested nature of gender, too, is particularly highlighted. As both feminist and Jewish traditions have maintained a complicated relation to the nation-states of their time and place, we feel that studying Jewishness and feminism together can contribute specific insights to our understanding of the transnational inequalities and hierarchies central to this IFRWH-conference.
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Contributor: Ms. Cécile Formaglio - France: Cécile Brunschvicg, Defender of a Neutral Feminism, 1877-1946   Show
Contributor: Ms. Cécile Formaglio - France: Cécile Brunschvicg, Defender of a Neutral Feminism, 1877-1946   Hide
France: Cécile Brunschvicg, Defender of a Neutral Feminism, 1877-1946

As a representative member of the « franco-judaïsme », defining herself a freethinker, Cécile Brunschvicg has always defended the religious neutrality of the French feminist movement. Her action in helping the Jews persecuted emigrating from Germany to France in 1933 has nevertheless modified her attitude towards jewishness, but not her feminist principles. Antifascit, Cécile Brunschvicg has indeed been partly silenced by the pacifism of the feminist associations, their political neutrality and the priority she wanted to give to the feminist cause.
Contributor: Dr. Elizabeth Loentz - Germany: Bertha Pappenheim (1859-1936), author and activist   Show   Download
Contributor: Dr. Elizabeth Loentz - Germany: Bertha Pappenheim (1859-1936), author and activist   Hide   Download
Germany: Bertha Pappenheim (1859-1936), author and activist

In 1895 Freud and Breuer published their "Studies on Hysteria", which contained the case-study of the famous hysteric Anna O. (aka Bertha Pappenheim), whose “talking cure” became the cornerstone of the history of psychoanalysis. That same year, Pappenheim became housemother of a Jewish orphanage in Frankfurt a.M. and helped to found the local branch of the General German Women’s Association. By her death in 1936, Pappenheim had arguably become the most influential Jewish woman in Germany. She founded and led the Jewish Women’s League of Germany. She was a leader in the international campaign to combat “white slavery,” a pioneer in Jewish social work, and a well-known writer and translator. In this paper I will argue that Pappenheim was a vanguard of the intersectionality theory that was embraced by Black feminists in the late twentieth century. Recognizing the marginalization of Jewish women within both the male-dominated Jewish community and the sometimes antisemitic German feminist movement, Pappenheim founded a German-Jewish feminist movement that was distinct from yet integrated into the German feminist movement.
Contributor: Dr. Elisabeth Malleier - Austria: Jewish Women in Viennese Feminism, 1890-1938   Show
Contributor: Dr. Elisabeth Malleier - Austria: Jewish Women in Viennese Feminism, 1890-1938   Hide
Austria: Jewish Women in Viennese Feminism, 1890-1938

In my paper I want to present two activists of the bourgeois Women’s Movement in Vienna 1900: Regine Ulmann who was active at the moderate “Bund Österreichischer Frauenvereine” (League of Austrian Women’s Societies) and Leopoldine Kulka, active in the more radical “Allgemeiner Österreichischer Frauenverein” (General Austrian Women’s Society).
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Judith Frishman
 
7.  Inequalities in the History of Science and Academia
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributors: Prof. Dr. Heide Inhetveen, Dr. Mathilde Schmitt & Dr. Ira Spieker - Unequal Sisters in Organic farming   Show
Contributors: Prof. Dr. Heide Inhetveen, Dr. Mathilde Schmitt & Dr. Ira Spieker - Unequal Sisters in Organic farming   Hide
Unequal Sisters in Organic farming

The significance and role of women in the history of agricultural science has to date been widely neglected. In contrast to their role in conventional agriculture, the contribution of women to the history of organic farming has been much more significant: they have obviously been more important with respect to both the production and dissemination of knowledge as well as in conversion of farms from traditional forms to those demanded by organic farming. But nevertheless, the findings by the female researchers are and were not accepted unquestioned within the research – even on organic farming.

Research on women pioneers in organic farming – especially of the first generation in the 1920s – has pointed out the elementary significance of networks in the lives and work of these women as well as the exchange of ideas with both colleagues and laymen working in the same field. These female experts developed different strategies to cope with the “male system” of agricultural sciences. They maintained intensive networks and founded organizations and institutions. Their extensive correspondence is characterized by a broad spectrum of addressees, the transcending of ideological boundaries, as well as the range of the international influence. The networks produced extreme mobility and world-wide activities. Some women such as Lady Eve Balfour had a strong institutional background and embarked on lecture tours and excursions. Others like the autodidact Mina Hofstetter on a small farm in Switzerland drew with the help of seminars people from all over the world to the sites of their efforts. Her guest book is an impressing testimony of the coverage of her extensive activities.
A typical routine to gain (legitimate) access to the fields of science as well as recognition was to carry out the research activities in “joint pair production” or “marital collaboration”. The history of science today, however, only recognises and remembers the male half of the jointly cooperating couple. Especially, the institutionalization and academism of research seem to lead to a “masculization” of knowledge.
(In)equality in the history of science of organic farming is closely linked to gender, social status, (academic) education, and strategic networking. Therefore, we have to question which intersectional aspects – in which combination and with which dimensions – distinguish the contribution of women to the production of knowledge.

This paper is part of the project “Passion and Profession. Women Pioneers in Organic Agriculture” which was initiated in May, 2002, at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, University of Göttingen, and promoted by the Ministry of Culture and Education in Lower Saxony.
Contributor: Ms. Enikő Jakab - The impact of Stalinist higher education policies on gender equality in Hungary, 1948 - 1953   Show   Download
Contributor: Ms. Enikő Jakab - The impact of Stalinist higher education policies on gender equality in Hungary, 1948 - 1953   Hide   Download
The impact of Stalinist higher education policies on gender equality in Hungary, 1948 - 1953

The goal of the paper is to historicize the general discourses about the relationship between higher education (HE), gender equality, and social mobility on the basis of a particular historical period, from 1948 to1953, which also signaled a major transformation of gender relations in Hungary. The research will focus on HE policies, which were based on the Soviet model and which ensured the possibility of entry for women to all higher education institutions. Furthermore, the paper will attempt to answer how and to what extent patriarchy and traditional gender norms continued to shape the social mobility campaign in higher education within the context of the intensive industrialization and modernization processes characteristic of the period. The discussion of social mobility will involve the analysis of the categories used to describe the various social groups, and of the cultural construction of the gendered notion of ‘success’. In this context, the regulative mechanisms of family policies will also be included, as these provide the broader context for women’s equality in higher education.
More specifically, the paper will focus on the ways in which the emancipatory intention of opening HE for women after 1945 in Hungary was later caught up in the overall political objectives of the ruling party. I will investigate how the competition with Western capitalism in terms economic performance and of being more progressive shaped the discourses and the practices of HE. The Hungarian Workers’ Party claimed they provided the opportunity for “real” gender equality (as opposed to the West), meaning that gender and social equality could actually be accomplished because the necessary institutions and the legal framework for women’s educational and career progress had been created. This paper will explore to what extent ‘equal opportunity’ of entry to higher education was able to transform gendered hierarchies, and it will try to make visible the remaining (or newly introduced) regulatory or selective mechanisms that helped perpetuate gender inequalities (e.g. the gendered nature of politically favored disciplines and the chances of entry to political power, the notion of valuable knowledge, gender differences in secondary education, and class origin and gender differences of students admitted to various disciplines, etc.).

The paper will relate to the theme of nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies, and the specific form patriarchy took in this particular period and location.
Contributor: Prof. Dr. Natalia Lvovna Pushkareva - Unequal Sisters in Russian Sciences: The Transformation of Discriminatory Practices of Female Academics in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia   Show   Download
Contributor: Prof. Dr. Natalia Lvovna Pushkareva - Unequal Sisters in Russian Sciences: The Transformation of Discriminatory Practices of Female Academics in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia   Hide   Download
Unequal Sisters in Russian Sciences: The Transformation of Discriminatory Practices of Female Academics in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia

Women-scientists resemble guinea-pigs. Like guinea-pigs that are neither Guinean nor real pigs, women-scientists are neither scientists, nor women (Post-Soviet folklore)

After 1985 and the collapse of "Soviet historical sciences" change in the categorization of gender discrimination was possible as that type of discrimination was destroyed. Rigid socio-cultural stereotypes of sexual roles in the scientific community had influenced women's lifestyle strategies until perestroika and (with noticeable changes) continued to act upon women's lives after 1985. My study asks, what commonalities and differences in gender relations are there between Soviet and post-Soviet Russia in regards to the systematic discrimination of women in the sciences? Our colleagues in academic institutions are “unequal sisters” – older sisters of young researches that came into community now or 10 years before and also unequal sisters of men colleagues that deprive all of us. How are they doing it? To answer this question, my study undertakes a multi-disciplinary platform, engaging methodological paradigms from sociology, history, cultural anthropology, and feminist ethnology. These have permitted a deeper understanding and analysis of the problems of gender asymmetry in the scientific community as seen through the eyes of the members of this very social and economic group.
The anthropology of professionals, including academics, is a new branch of social and cultural anthropology. It lies at the intersection of ethnology, and qualitative sociology, with its in-depth interviews, participant observation, and case studies. Although the application of the term "ethnology" to professional academics may seem odd, their traditions can be analyzed in analogous terms, with subcultures defined by their signs, symbols, attributes and folklore, and social and behavioral norms, forms of communication and stereotypes. I’d explored scholars'
environment, establishing the official standards and the unofficial codes of behavior, lifestyles, forms of routine discourse, symbols, attributes, and practices. The gender focus in my research project emphasizes the examination of the practice of power relations in the academic environment, rather than a conventional description of the social and professional lives of men and women. By emphasizing power, my project draws upon feminist theory to provide methodological approaches.

Contributor: Dr. Carolina Rodriguez - From the Desk to the Podium.The First Women Professors at the Spanish Univerisities   Show
Contributor: Dr. Carolina Rodriguez - From the Desk to the Podium.The First Women Professors at the Spanish Univerisities   Hide
From the Desk to the Podium.The First Women Professors at the Spanish Univerisities

This paper examines the long and difficult process by which the first Spanish women reached posts as professors in Spanish universities. After a long and complicated road that led some of them to enter the University as students, we can already detect in the 1930s that some of them occupy positions as professors in the Faculties of the University of Madrid: especially Arts, Sciences and Pharmacy. Usually women got jobs as assistants or as assistant professors, not always paid, and not always with a contract of employment. More often than not this first occupation had no continuity nor did it lead to promotion to higher levels of the educational ladder. We are focusing on the names and the vocational and academic training of many of them, whose careers were disrupted with the onset of the Spanish Civil War.
 
8.  Rethinking and Contextualizing Sisterhood, Gender, and Politics
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Dr. Oksana Kis - Femininity Used and Contested: Women’s Experiences in National Liberation Guerilla in Western Ukraine in 1940-50s   Show
Contributor: Dr. Oksana Kis - Femininity Used and Contested: Women’s Experiences in National Liberation Guerilla in Western Ukraine in 1940-50s   Hide
Femininity Used and Contested: Women’s Experiences in National Liberation Guerilla in Western Ukraine in 1940-50s

In mid 1940s the underground national liberation movement on west-Ukrainian territories led by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and focused mostly on raising Ukrainian national awareness and nationalist propaganda amongst local population turned into the armed guerilla under leadership of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) fighting against Nazi and Soviet regimes for establishing the independent Ukrainian nation state. Thousands of local Ukrainian women have been recruited to join the struggle. Their contribution however remains underestimated; their specific experiences are marginalized and underrepresented in historical records. The scholars tend to diminish women’s agency in the guerilla and represent women as victims or martyrs.
Women’s personal narratives however testify to the contrary. Women participated in the national liberation guerilla in various ways: they served on the home front (collecting food and cooking, sewing and washing cloths for partisans etc.); provided first medical aid and nursing to wounded soldiers in secret field hospitals; effectuate the continuous circulation of information between the leadership and local units as well as within the network (delivered messages, orders, intelligence data etc.); collected important information on site (about traitors, expected punitive raids, local situation etc.); served as couriers (transported and distributed propaganda materials, delivered medications, money, documents for partisans, etc.); served as local guides helping the armed units of UPA to move secretly and securely throughout the terrain; produced propaganda materials (worked in secret printing houses as typist, polygraphists, writers); some women also took part in the UPA military operations and sabotage actions side by side with male fighters. Women see themselves as important agents of that struggle; they consider their contribution to be essential part of the entire movement.
Women’s participation in OUN-UPA has challenged considerably the traditional notion of femininity cultivated within nationalist ideology. On the one hand, the majority of women of various age and marital status have been involved into OUN-UPA’s activities in rather traditional roles of care-givers. The partisans benefited from stereotypical notion of femininity as essentially alien to politics and military: ordinary women have been seldom suspected of subversive or illegal activities so they have been often in charge of risky missions in full view of state authorities. The strict gender division of male and female functions within OUN-UPA has been manifested by establishing of the separate “women’s network” of complementary functions and specific goals. Thus the traditional femininity has been promoted and practiced in the national liberation struggle.
On the other hand, a huge number of single young girls have been mobilized and recruited for underground activities related to risky tasks, remote travels, conspiracy, underground propaganda etc. The most active of them have been professionally instructed and trained for this purpose. Quite often young girls 18-19 years old stood at the head of district units or even higher. Some of them were even members of OUN-UPA general leadership and participated in the decision making. Hundreds of women participated in military units and operations directly. Thus a huge number of young (mainly peasant) women obtained unique knowledge in nationalist ideology, national history, geography, geopolitics, warfare and became active agents of political struggle. Thus in fact women’s “primordial” role of physical and cultural reproduction of the nation has been set aside and subordinated to the goals of armed nation liberation struggle. Although in nationalist discourse women’s contribution to the guerilla is usually seen as auxiliary, the variety of experiences women have gained then has challenged and transformed considerably the way Ukrainian women imagine their role in the Nation.
Contributor: Ms. Bérengère Kolly - Les femmes « sœurs » à l’aube du féminisme : sororité et subversion des inégalités chez les saint-simoniennes en France dans les années 1830   Show
Contributor: Ms. Bérengère Kolly - Les femmes « sœurs » à l’aube du féminisme : sororité et subversion des inégalités chez les saint-simoniennes en France dans les années 1830   Hide
Les femmes « sœurs » à l’aube du féminisme : sororité et subversion des inégalités chez les saint-simoniennes en France dans les années 1830

Le temps des femmes est arrivé, notre rôle va changer, lance, en 1832, une saint-simonienne du journal L’Apostolat des femmes : nous ne serons plus sous la dépendance ou la protection des hommes ; nous nous soutiendrons mutuellement, « nous serons toutes sœurs » ajoute-t-elle.

La question des inégalités entre femmes, en particulier l’inégalité de classes, est présente dès les premiers temps du féminisme en France. Les saint-simoniennes se posent ainsi dès le début des années 1830 la question d’une union de toutes les femmes pour leur libération commune. Elles s’interrogent sur des questions qui traversent ensuite tout le féminisme : toutes les femmes connaissent-elles la même oppression ? Les « femmes prolétaires » peuvent-elles s’unir avec les « femmes privilégiées » ? Ou pour reprendre leurs propres termes, les femmes peuvent-elles se penser sœurs, et à quelles conditions ?

Ainsi la sororité, ou le mot de sœur devient-il un moyen pour penser une union des femmes, au-delà des inégalités et des disparités réelles qui existent entre elles : une union théorique d’abord, philosophique, mais également très concrète et pratique, à travers les « réunions industrielles » ou les associations d’éducation mutuelle, où les « femmes privilégiées » tiennent un rôle clef auprès de leurs « sœurs » ouvrières.
L’étude de la « sororité » saint-simonienne permet ainsi de mettre en perspective et d’historiciser des questions qui sont encore actuelles ; elle permet également de comprendre comment ces femmes sont parvenues à déplacer, voire même à subvertir leurs inégalités, en les « réduisant », ou en les utilisant. C’est ainsi que ce mot de « sœur » a pu inviter ces femmes à penser, à révéler, ou même à créer des complémentarités et des interdépendances entre femmes jusque là inexistantes ou invisibles, et à en faire une force politique, au sens général du terme.
Entre histoire et philosophie, comment comprendre d’une part les faiblesses, les contradictions, mais également la force d’un tel concept, premier ici dans l’histoire du féminisme en France ? Comment, malgré les difficultés et les contradictions dont elles sont conscientes, les femmes « sœurs » des débuts du féminisme parviennent-elles à faire de la sororité un signe non seulement de solidarité, mais de libération des femmes ? Comment ces femmes parviennent-elles à contourner, ou à user des rapports complexes entre sexe et classe ? Comment enfin, ces sœurs politiques, décalées de la posture familiale, font-elles signe, entre sécession et union, vers la fraternité des frères, celle des républicains, du peuple et du socialisme naissant ?
Contributor: Ms. Nora Natchkova - What if…? Taking Gender into Account in the History of Social Movements in West Europe at the End of the First World War. Socialists in Switzerland in Comparison to France and Sweden.   Show
Contributor: Ms. Nora Natchkova - What if…? Taking Gender into Account in the History of Social Movements in West Europe at the End of the First World War. Socialists in Switzerland in Comparison to France and Sweden.   Hide
What if…? Taking Gender into Account in the History of Social Movements in West Europe at the End of the First World War. Socialists in Switzerland in Comparison to France and Sweden.

Le papier vise d'une part à présenter l'apport des femmes en tant que groupe social aux mouvements sociaux dans l'immédiat après-première guerre mondiale en Suisse. D'autre part, il s'agit de discuter de l'intégration de certaines activistes de sexe féminin aux cercles dirigeants socialistes, les concessions et les luttes qu'elles doivent y mener.
Le cas suisse est présenté dans la perspective de l'internationalisme omniprésent de l'époque. Il est également comparé aux situations particulières en France et en Suède.
Discussant: Dr. Karen Offen
 
9.  Racism, Nationalism and Imperialism Intersecting with Women's Rights
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Prof. Shirin Akhtar - Towards a Gendered Phenomenology of Reading, Writing and Cultural and Collective Action: ‘The Weekly Begum’ (since 1947) - A Case Study of Bengal   Show   Download
Contributor: Prof. Shirin Akhtar - Towards a Gendered Phenomenology of Reading, Writing and Cultural and Collective Action: ‘The Weekly Begum’ (since 1947) - A Case Study of Bengal   Hide   Download
Towards a Gendered Phenomenology of Reading, Writing and Cultural and Collective Action: ‘The Weekly Begum’ (since 1947) - A Case Study of Bengal

A cursory reading of literature on women extant in early colonial India reveals that it featured mostly in respect of their customs and traditions with rare reference to the changing cultural setting. Though some later literature tends to focus on early marriage, motherhood and widowhood and seek to ‘improve’ women’s lot, but these neglect to situate them in their wider socio-political setting. In the society characterized by gender asymmetry or the segregation of male and female social roles, women’s contribution to pre-twentieth century socio-political processes failed to get proper attention, since the conventional documentary sources until recently were typically male authored and dealt largely with male concerns. In such a perspective how far the western knowledge as a major force of change impacted the cultural constructs of the traditional social set-up of Bengal by the 20th century needs to be objectively reviewed.
The paper seeks to examine the complexity of Bengali psyche in the midst of adverse colonial milieu lead to emphasize the need for revision of the role of women through education and cultural attainment bringing an interrelationship of knowledge, culture and gender. The publication of the weekly news paper, ‘The Begum’ on July 14, 1947 was a great leap forward towards the awareness of the Bengali women of their rights, their ability to literary attainments and their march towards development as human beings as a collective force in the modern socio-political construct. Having all encompassing subjects relating to women’s family life, welfare of the children, health-care, sports, songs dance, and even beautification apart from the basic problems like the seclusion and socio-political, movement, the weekly still deserves a glowing tribute for its primary goal of vindicating the natural rights of woman especially among the middle class people of Bangladesh.

*Prof. (Rtd.) of History
Jahangirnagar University
Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Email- shirin.akhtar@yahoo.com
Contributor: Dr. Padma Anagol - ‘Feminism and anti-feminism: Race, Nation, Community and Gender in the writings of nineteenth century Indian women’. By Padma Anagol, Cardiff University.   Show
Contributor: Dr. Padma Anagol - ‘Feminism and anti-feminism: Race, Nation, Community and Gender in the writings of nineteenth century Indian women’. By Padma Anagol, Cardiff University.   Hide
‘Feminism and anti-feminism: Race, Nation, Community and Gender in the writings of nineteenth century Indian women’. By Padma Anagol, Cardiff University.

The complexities of an emergent nineteenth century Indian feminism forms the central concern of this paper in which the enmeshing of the categories of ‘community’, ‘race’, ‘nation’ and ‘woman’ are analysed through the text of an upper caste (Brahmin) Indian woman-patriot’s works. Laxmibai Dravid was a woman-patriot from Western India who wrote a tract in an Indian language (Marathi) titled Essays in the Service of the Nation [Deshseva Nibandh Mala] in 1896. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the first tract on economic nationalism as well as the first on the critique of imperialism by a woman. Issuing from the pen of an Indian woman, we hear for the first time, how Indians themselves received foreign rule and how it affected their lives. Two interlocking themes within the treatise are Dravid’s projection of a community-based consciousness of a ‘nation’ through the notion of a ‘Hindu community’ and her expression of India as a ‘colony’ through economic criteria such as the impoverishment of the Indian economy through the unequal trading and governing policies of the Raj. As an upper caste woman, Laxmibai’s mental world as a member of the Indian elite was transformed by the East-West encounter. As a consequence, she exhibits an ambivalent attitude to modernisation, rejecting certain aspects whilst embracing others in pursuit of her objective: namely the ‘progress of the Indian nation’. Whilst deploring the Raj for its inadequate treatment of India’s ills, she deployed various strategies to strengthen her claim that disunity amongst Indians, was a British product through a critique of Victorian imperial historiographies of medieval India, wherein she argued Muslims were privileged as a ‘community’ over Hindus by the Raj. Locating herself and her text within the Victorian frame of racial discourses she selectively appropriated the past by choosing the Orientalist construction of the ‘Aryan theory of Race’ to claim a white racial stock of upper caste Indians. Deploying Mill’s famous decree that the woman’s position was an index of a civilisation she argued that Indian women were harmed and disadvantaged in the medieval era by Muslim rulers’ rapacious and brutal policies. Through a critical examination of the Raj’s educational policies and attitudes towards Indian women’s education she alleged that the British government was simply disingenuous, thus, de-legitimizing their claim to rule India. Regarding the empowerment of Indian women, she argued for the discarding of injurious customs such as child-marriage and endorsed their rights for a good education. On the other hand, she expressed a conservative attitude towards harmful customs such as the ban on Hindu widow remarriage. The paper analyses why and how Dravid’s variant of feminism allows certain autonomy in a right to education, adult marriage and public participation in the anti-colonial movements but at the same time disallows women’s claims to a better life by putting restrictions on widow remarriage. It’s suggested that she is driven by the anxiety of upholding the newly homogenised Hindu religion [Dharma] and privileging Brahmin caste over and above others. Her viewpoint is from the framework of an extreme patriot and she expected women individually and collectively to act in cohesion to oust the ‘foreigner’ (British) through the Swadeshi (self-rule) movement and guard against the ‘other foreigner’ (Muslim). Thus, unlike the later Hindu right wing movements of the mid-twentieth century, which did not ask women to join the anti-colonial struggle, Dravid carves an autonomous role (however sinister) for women. Both ‘gender’ and ‘women’ are subsumed by her to the more important category of service to the ‘nation’ and the expression of solidarity to the Hindu ‘community’. Finally, the paper will hope to throw light on the questions regarding why economic exclusion and social alienation trigger the rise of Right wing movements and how ‘women’s position’ becomes a crucial index for the development of both feminist and right-wing ideologies in colonial India.
Contributor: Prof. Laura Prieto - “‘A Delicate Subject’: Clemencia López’s Anti-Imperialist Errand, 1901-1903”   Show
Contributor: Prof. Laura Prieto - “‘A Delicate Subject’: Clemencia López’s Anti-Imperialist Errand, 1901-1903”   Hide
“‘A Delicate Subject’: Clemencia López’s Anti-Imperialist Errand, 1901-1903”

This paper examines the place of an underrecognized Filipina figure, Clemencia López, as both object and agent in the discourse over American imperialism at the turn of the twentieth century. The López family had originally supported American assistance in the Filipino struggle against Spanish colonization but found themselves targeted as subversives for preferring Filipino independence at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. When American officials confiscated the family’s property and imprisoned three of her brothers for treason, Clemencia López undertook an errand to the United States to fight for their release. Her journey was unprecedented in several respects. She broke with her culture’s patriarchal conventions by traveling as a young unmarried woman, unchaperoned by any member of her family. She thereby claimed the right to speak on behalf of her older brothers – another refutation of Filipino custom. Notably it was not her brother Sixto López, by then internationally recognized as a public critic of imperialism, who took on the role of family representative. Just as significantly, her destination was hostile territory; by 1902, when Clemencia López arrived in the United States, over 20,000 Filipino insurrectionists and more than 200,000 Filipino civilians had died in the struggle against American domination.

In this context, López came to speak not only for her brothers, but for her people. She came to the attention of the United States Senate’s Philippines Commission, which was then gathering testimony regarding the conduct of the American military in the Philippines. She won the patronage of American anti-imperialists who saw an opportunity to appeal to women suffragists. Like some contemporary white suffragists who opposed imperialism, López suggested an affinity between disenfranchised Filipinos and disenfranchised American women. At the same time, she challenged the authority of Americans to represent Filipinos and reminded American suffragists that for her, the first struggle was not for the vote but for “a national life to take part in.” She resolutely demanded liberty and defined “patriotism” as Filipino nationalism. She vehemently rejected the American doctrine of “benevolent assimilation,” by which the United States tried to justify its imperialist policies as a project of civilizing savages.

For many Americans López came to personify and humanize the unjust colonization of the Philippines. Yet while she protested American domination, López took advantage of her New England residency to attend university, attaining a type of education unavailable to Filipinas at home. While she insisted upon Filipino independence, what she pressed for most was an investigatory committee to visit the islands. She implicitly traced imperialism to ignorance rather than to systemic racism or other inequities. And while she asserted the equality of women in the Philippines, she located their value within domestic roles that she herself violated. Even as she publicly challenged the authority of the United States as an imperial power, López privately used liberal democracy and class privilege to vault over the limits on women in her society.

These contradictions are highly instructive in untangling the hierarchies of gender, race, class, and nation that proved so resistant to political activism in the early twentieth century. Though her personal story is singular, Clemencia López is an emblematic transnational figure whose experiences and discursive role show the contours of imperialist and patriarchal power. Her complicated relationships with the American suffrage and anti-imperialist movements in particular demonstrate the difficulties that faced “unequal sisters,” especially those who attempted to challenge multiple forms of inequality at once.
Contributor: Prof. June Purvis - Fighting the Double Moral Standard in Edwardian Britain: Suffragette Militancy, Sexuality and the Nation in the Writings of the Early 20th-Century British Feminist, Chistabel Pankhurst   Show
Contributor: Prof. June Purvis - Fighting the Double Moral Standard in Edwardian Britain: Suffragette Militancy, Sexuality and the Nation in the Writings of the Early 20th-Century British Feminist, Chistabel Pankhurst   Hide
Fighting the Double Moral Standard in Edwardian Britain: Suffragette Militancy, Sexuality and the Nation in the Writings of the Early 20th-Century British Feminist, Chistabel Pankhurst

This paper will focus on the suffragette militancy of Christabel Pankhurst, the key leader of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), the most notorious of the feminist groupings fighting for the parliamentary vote for women in Edwardian Britain. In particular, it will explore her political thought, especially the emphasis from 1912-14 on the double moral standard in Edwardian society as a key inequality between men and women that kept women in subjection and denied them their right to the parliamentary vote. In a series of articles in The Suffragette, later collected together as a book entitled The Great Scourge and How to End It, Christabel expanded on her critique of man-made morality, arguing that prostitution and venereal disease were the direct consequences of men’s failure to live up to the moral standards of women. Were such ideas conservative or radical? What part did they play in suffragette activism? How do they relate to categories such as ‘women’ , ‘the nation’ and ‘empire’? How do they relate to a broader international context?
Discussant: Dr. Fiona Paisley
 
10.  The Challenges of Inter/Transnational Women's Movements
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Drs. Julie Carlier - Challenging the North-American model of women’s international organizing? The forgotten transnational networks of the Women’s Progressive Society (1890) and the International Women’s Union (1893-1898)   Show
Contributor: Drs. Julie Carlier - Challenging the North-American model of women’s international organizing? The forgotten transnational networks of the Women’s Progressive Society (1890) and the International Women’s Union (1893-1898)   Hide
Challenging the North-American model of women’s international organizing? The forgotten transnational networks of the Women’s Progressive Society (1890) and the International Women’s Union (1893-1898)

In 1890, at the initiative of Mrs. Warner Snoad, a British writer and social reformer, the Women’s Progressive Society was founded (Crawford, 1999). This self-proclaimed “cosmopolitan” association soon affiliated with German, Belgian and Dutch women’s organizations and recruited well-known feminists from all over Europe and the USA as vice-presidents. When one of these officers, the American radical feminist Clara Bewick Colby, presented Warner Snoad’s “Address to women of all nations” at the World’s Congress of Representative Women in Chicago in 1893, which was published in an American, a French and a Dutch feminist journal, it sparked the creation of the International Women’s Union (IWU). Because of its loose structure, aiming first and foremost at information exchange, this suffragist and pacifist organization was quickly able to establish connections not only all over the Western world, but also in Japan, India and Persia. By 1898, however, Warner Snoad, who was unable to fill the position of president anymore due to illness, announced the dissolution of the IWU.
Both the British Women’s Progressive Society and its transnational sister organization, the International Women’s Union, have been completely forgotten in the history of the transnational women’s movement, which had thus far mainly focused upon the successful North-American model of women’s international organising – “almost without any definite goals but strongly organized” (Wikander, 1992) – as embodied by the International Council of Women (ICW, 1888). Instead of taking this tradition for granted, we should also examine those networks that eventually failed to develop into lasting structures (Aerts and Everard, 1999). The network of the WPS and the IWU partially overlaps with what Ulla Wikander has termed the French style of “equality internationalism”, a less well-structured, but more radical European network of left-wing feminists focusing especially on the economic independence as a fundamental pre-requisite for women’s emancipation. In the proposed paper, I will trace the history of both the WPS and the IWU and compare them to the ICW, particularly as regards gender, class and race. Even though Warner Snoad contended that the International Women’s Union would not compete with the Council, rivalry did occur, since the IWU represented an alternative model of women’s international organising. Contrary to the ICW’s international structure, built on single national affiliations (Zimmermann, 2005), the Union developed a more horizontal and transnational network. Whereas the ICW constructed its collective identity upon the “boundary of gender” (Rupp, 1997), the IWU rejected women’s separatist organising. Moreover, contrary to the “aristocratic” character of the International Council of Women (Rupp, 1997), particularly the WPS wished “to put down class prejudice”, even though in its recruitment it was not really able to practice what it preached. Lastly, unlike the ICW, the IWU enlisted non-Western members very early on. However, these affiliations do not imply a an anti-imperialist stance, as the Union’s discourse reflected the same “feminist orientalism” that marked the views of the ICW (Rupp, 1997).
Contributor: Drs. Anne Cova - “Feminisms in France, Italy and Portugal: A Comparative Approach, 1888-1939”   Show
Contributor: Drs. Anne Cova - “Feminisms in France, Italy and Portugal: A Comparative Approach, 1888-1939”   Hide
“Feminisms in France, Italy and Portugal: A Comparative Approach, 1888-1939”

At the beginning of the twentieth century, three national councils of women were founded in France (1901), Italy (1903) and Portugal (1914), all emerging from the International Council of Women which was created in the US in 1888. These national councils of women were active in reformist feminism but in different political contexts: Third Republic in France, fascism during the interwar in Italy and Salazarism in Portugal. Among them, some women did play a great role, like Ghénia Avril de Sainte-Croix and Paulina Luisi. This paper will analyse the links between various feminists and their impact on the building of an international transnational movement.
Contributor: Dr. Karen Offen - Overcoming Hierarchies through Internationalism: May Wright Sewall's Presidency of the International Council of Women (1899-1904)   Show
Contributor: Dr. Karen Offen - Overcoming Hierarchies through Internationalism: May Wright Sewall's Presidency of the International Council of Women (1899-1904)   Hide
Overcoming Hierarchies through Internationalism: May Wright Sewall's Presidency of the International Council of Women (1899-1904)

My paper will explore the heretofore overlooked analyses of May Wright Sewall, an energetic and farsighted American feminist who was a prime mover in establishing the International Council of Women (founded in 1888) and one of its early presidents. During her term as ICW president (1899-1904) she argued for an innovative internationalism among women that would transcend not only the rampant nationalism of the early twentieth century but also class and ethnic boundaries. By recapturing and analyzing Sewall’s speeches and writings during her presidency, I intend to shed light on early feminist efforts to transcend inequalities among women’s activists and to enable an energetic, functional, and influential transnational feminist network. This paper will build out from my earlier invocation of Sewall and the ICW (during our previous conference in Sofia), in reference to the problems and issues encountered in founding our own, much later, International Federation for Research in Women’s History. I find May Wright Sewall to be a fascinating and much misunderstood character whose ideas have great resonance for us today.
Contributor: Megan Threlkeld - Unspoken But Undeniable: The Impact of Race on Inter-American Cooperation Among Women Between the World Wars   Show
Contributor: Megan Threlkeld - Unspoken But Undeniable: The Impact of Race on Inter-American Cooperation Among Women Between the World Wars   Hide
Unspoken But Undeniable: The Impact of Race on Inter-American Cooperation Among Women Between the World Wars

How do we analyze absences in the historical record, particularly when those absences concern racial prejudice? Among U.S. women concerned with international activism and organizing between 1918 and 1939, race was rarely mentioned as a potential marker of inequality. Yet these women’s assumption of their own Anglo-Saxon superiority is undeniable. It was particularly evident in their efforts to establish and maintain relationships with women throughout Latin America. U.S. women presented their agendas for peace, women’s rights, and other issues as universal, and were puzzled when Latin American women expressed resentment for what they saw as hegemonic and racist U.S. policies and attitudes. Furthermore, the complexities of racial hierarchies in many Latin American societies make it difficult to evaluate how U.S. women, with their own binary racial system, interpreted Latin American women’s racial status. This paper analyzes implicit assumptions among U.S. women about racial inequalities and hierarchies, and reveals Latin American--particularly Mexican--women's refusal to confirm them.
Discussant: Prof. Charlotte Macdonald
 
11.  Women Across Liminal Spaces: Religion, Health, Work and Gender
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Ms. Catherine Bishop - ‘Women Settlers and Colonial Economies: Re-examining the Public/Private Sphere Dichotomy in mid-nineteenth century New South Wales and New Zealand’   Show   Download
Contributor: Ms. Catherine Bishop - ‘Women Settlers and Colonial Economies: Re-examining the Public/Private Sphere Dichotomy in mid-nineteenth century New South Wales and New Zealand’   Hide   Download
‘Women Settlers and Colonial Economies: Re-examining the Public/Private Sphere Dichotomy in mid-nineteenth century New South Wales and New Zealand’

Female settlers in mid-nineteenth century New South Wales and New Zealand are generally seen as wives and mothers, imprisoned within the private sphere, valued for their reproductive rather than productive qualities. The Victorian middle class ideal of domesticity, which emphasised separate spheres for men and women, was imported to the British colonies and several historians have theorised that in their determination to appear respectable in order to achieve early self-government, New South Wales and New Zealand societies were rigorous in their confinement of women to the domestic arena.
This paper challenges this image, highlighting the numbers of women who were engaged in productive work, including single women, widows and wives working alongside or in addition to their husbands. For example, even a quick survey of the city directories for Sydney from the 1830s to the 1860s shows women engaged in a vast range of occupations, from the expected laundry and dressmaking to saddle making, butchering and even funeral directing. I will consider the influence of class differences as well as the economic demands of the colonies, at the same time investigating the validity of the separate sphere ideology in colonies where much productive work was still carried on by and within households. Marriage or cohabitation was an economic partnership for many and women’s labour, both domestic and productive was valued and essential.
Contributor: Ms. Xin Chen - Female Protestant Missionaries in Modern China and Japan (1880s-1940s)   Show
Contributor: Ms. Xin Chen - Female Protestant Missionaries in Modern China and Japan (1880s-1940s)   Hide
Female Protestant Missionaries in Modern China and Japan (1880s-1940s)

The influence of Protestant missionary women in modern China and Japan, as well as back in their home countries, has drawn increased attention in the English-language, Chinese, and Japanese academies over the last twenty years. Until recently, this scholarship tended to look at these women only within the context of Victorian domesticity and a “separate spheres” ideology, largely because it relied on English-language sources. However, examining documents also written in Chinese and Japanese makes it possible to ask how and why, as cross-cultural individuals, this special group of Christian women interacted with local women.

This question became particularly complicated in the period from the1880s – when the proportion of women rapidly increased in Protestant missions in China and Japan, and Japan simultaneously became more embroiled in Chinese affairs – to the 1940s when the East Asian map was reshaped by the end of World War II and the rise of Communism.

To investigate the role of a multi-ethnic network of missionary women within this dynamic and changing world, this study will analyse the work and ideas of not only white but also Asian Protestant missionary women in these two countries. I will particularly analyse the transnational stories of Laura M. White, Mary E. Kidder, and Ikuko Shimizu according to the primary sources about them collected during last several years. Their stories on the micro level - as reflected in their own writings and in their educational, evangelistic, and social work - are fundamental to understanding the impact of their sex, their citizenship, and their skin colour on what they thought and did, both in working with ordinary women in their communities and in trying to influence Chinese and Japanese state-building.

This study will shed new light on the recent origins of East Asian feminisms and their place in making modern China and Japan by raising questions about gender, ethnicity, and the nation-state from the different standpoints provided by mission history, gender history, cross-cultural studies, and modern East Asian studies. Based on the investigation on the above-mentioned case studies, ultimately, it will not only encourage new interest and debates among historians and scholars in these fields but also provide a unique historical perspective for those who care about the present global conditions of women, multiculturalism, and inter-ethnic and inter-religious communication.
Contributor: Prof. Irene Maffi - The medicalization of birth in a patriarchal society: the case of post-colonial Jordan   Show   Download
Contributor: Prof. Irene Maffi - The medicalization of birth in a patriarchal society: the case of post-colonial Jordan   Hide   Download
The medicalization of birth in a patriarchal society: the case of post-colonial Jordan

During the last thirty years the natal system in Jordan has been completely transformed by the health policies adopted by the post-colonial state. Since 1950 when the Ministry of Health was first established, many initiatives in the health sector were started in order to expand and improve the services for the local population. Among them, the Jordanian authorities started the implementation of a programme aimed at creating a network of Maternal and Child Health (MCH) centres as well as several maternity wards in the public hospitals that were almost absent in the territory east of the Jordan. For the first time in the Jordanian history, the local natal system was affected by new ideas and practices derived from the model of the welfare state as it developed between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries in Europe and the United States.
As in many other non-western societies, until the second half of the twentieth century, the biological and social reproduction had been a feminine sphere of which men were excluded. Dayat (sing. daya) or traditional birth attendants as well as experienced women were the persons in charge of young pregnant women and new mothers. Pregnancy and birth were life periods and physiological phases of a woman’s existence known and controlled exclusively by women. Yet, this does not mean that the patriarchal model of local society did not determine the conditions under which women were to get pregnant, give birth and educate their children. Ideas and practices of reproduction were framed and determined by the patriarchal society in which women were inscribed.
During the post-colonial period, the adoption of the biomedical model in the sphere of reproduction was not simply the imposition of a foreign system of ideas about procreation but meant also the affirmation of two systems of power. On the one hand it helped the strengthening of the local patriarchal system, on the other it allowed the state to enforce its authority on a population and a territory that were still to be unified. This was possible both because western biomedicine was imposed by the state’s institutions and because the new health system carried with it a male-dominated set of ideas and practices about women and reproduction that allowed the local patriarchal society to enter a previously women’s dominated sphere. As a consequence, not only women’s social lives and roles, but also women’s bodies as reproductive agents became the objects of a control that had never existed before.
In this paper I hope to show how the Jordanian natal system was modified by the health policies of the post-colonial state and in what ways this process contributed to the strengthening of the local patriarchal system as well as to the reinforcement of the neo-patriarchal state. In order to illustrate this point I will focus on some medical practices aimed at framing and controlling the pregnant bodies of Jordanian women as meaningful loci where these systems of power crystallize.
Contributor: Dr. Mina Roces - Women's Movements in Liminal Spaces: Abortion as a Reproductive Right in Catholic Philippines, 1986-2006   Show
Contributor: Dr. Mina Roces - Women's Movements in Liminal Spaces: Abortion as a Reproductive Right in Catholic Philippines, 1986-2006   Hide
Women's Movements in Liminal Spaces: Abortion as a Reproductive Right in Catholic Philippines, 1986-2006

Abortion is illegal and punishable by law in the Philippines. However democratic institutions do not prohibit citizens from public advocacy for the cause. But because of the political hold of the Catholic Church and the global neo-conservative swing, anyone brave enough to openly endorse the legalization of abortion risked severe public censure. Given this environment, there has been no overt proactive lobby or networking for absolute reproductive rights in the legislature, although there have been attempts to legalize abortion under special circumstances. Women activists knew it was futile to campaign publicly for the legalization of abortion in a social climate where they had no chance of success. They had to explore alternative methods of subtle or quiet propaganda, attempting to elide the condemnation of the Catholic Church and its conservative political allies. In this sense, feminists operated in a metaphorical liminal space— sometimes above ground sometimes below ground—they could not openly advertise their cause, adopting innovative methods with which to disseminate ideas considered too radical or revolutionary for their time.

This paper will use the case study of one radical women’s organization’s (Likhaan) attempts to introduce a counter-hegemonic discourse focusing on reproductive and sexual rights. In order to make the society ‘culturally prepared’ for a discussion on abortion as a reproductive right, Likhaan’s tactics include the publication of feminist fiction in the form of romantic novels or pocketbooks. I will analyse these pocketbooks as well as Likhaan’s programs and commissioned play, to explore how the radical organization used the narratives of abortion in the trope of romantic fiction to fashion the future “Filipino woman” as an advocate of reproductive rights.
Discussant: Dr. Noriyo Hayakawa
 
12.  The Global Struggle for Women's Citizenship
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Dr. Henrice Altink - "We are Equal to Men in Ability to do Anything": African Jamaican Women and Citizenship in the Interwar Years   Show
Contributor: Dr. Henrice Altink - "We are Equal to Men in Ability to do Anything": African Jamaican Women and Citizenship in the Interwar Years   Hide
"We are Equal to Men in Ability to do Anything": African Jamaican Women and Citizenship in the Interwar Years

In May 1919, Jamaican women over 25, who paid 2 pounds in taxes or earned 50 pounds in salary a year, were given the vote. This was the result of a campaign that had been started in August 1918 by two men: Herbert G. DeLisser, a near-white newspaper editor, and H.A.L Simpson, an African Jamaican politician. Practically all the women who joined their campaign were white elite women. Middle-class African Jamaican women, however, did play a role in the campaigns to equalise the vote (both in terms of age and property) and to give women the right to stand for election, which took place in the 1920s and 1930s. During this period, they also actively worked to enhance women’s civil and social rights. They demanded, for instance, that women be given equal access to the labour market and proposed a minimum wage law for certain categories of women workers. This paper is concerned with the representations that middle-class African Jamaican women made to increase women’s civil, political and social rights both formally in petitions to (local and national) government and informally in articles in magazines and letters to the editor of the Gleaner, the biggest-selling newspaper in interwar Jamaica. Citizenship, however, is not just about having a set of legal rights and duties but also possessing the ability to exercise these rights and duties and assert agency in citizenship regimes, such as the neighbourhood, church and union. Middle-class African Jamaican women were excluded from or marginalised within many of these regimes because of their gender and/or skin colour. This paper therefore also looks at the methods that middle-class African Jamaican women adopted to combat their status as lesser citizens in semi-political organisations, unions, churches and women’s organisations, which can be found in newspaper reports of the meetings of these organisations and articles that the women wrote for Public Opinion, a progressive magazine set up in the late 1930s. By exploring the rhetorical and other strategies that middle-class African Jamaican women employed in the representations that they made for legal rights and full inclusion in civil society, the paper will shed light on the ways in which the women conceptualised citizenship. It will show in particular that their notion of citizenship had, like that of men and women in other times and places, both inclusive and exclusionary propensities.
Contributor: Dr. Lindsay Clowes - Sarojini Naidu, Cissie Gool and the politics of women’s leadership in South Africa   Show
Contributor: Dr. Lindsay Clowes - Sarojini Naidu, Cissie Gool and the politics of women’s leadership in South Africa   Hide
Sarojini Naidu, Cissie Gool and the politics of women’s leadership in South Africa

Whereas Sarojini Naidu’s Gandhian nationalist feminist perspective has been examined in the context of her vision of Indian citizenship, her influence on feminist and nationalist movements in other parts of the world has been neglected. This paper reflects on the significance of Sarojini Naidu’s visit to South Africa in 1924 from the perspective of women’s political leadership within nationalist movements. Despite the ubiquity of women’s activism in South Africa, before Naidu’s visit men monopolized the executive positions in nationalist organizations. Her visit opened the door to the possibility of women presiding over nationalist politics. Her host in Cape Town, Cissie Gool, then known as a “socialite” within the “coloured” elite, would later become the first South African-born woman to preside over a nationalist organization. This paper argues, firstly, for the need to recognize the ways in which personal relationships formed between Naidu and her hosts influenced the development of nationalist politics and women’s political history in South Africa. Secondly, the paper explores the influence of Naidu’s public political role in shifting the dynamics of gendered discourses of power in South Africa – which facilitated the later nomination and election of Cissie Gool as president of the National Liberation League of South Africa, and later of the Non-European United Front.

In 1924, the Natal Indian Congress invited Sarojini Naidu to assist in the Congress’s campaign against the state’s attempts to segregate South Africans of Indian descent and to deprive them of their citizenship. She accepted the invitation and played a central role in the negotiations which culminated in the Cape Town Agreement of 1927. Sarojini Naidu’s visit also represents a watershed in the history of women’s political leadership in South Africa. This paper suggests that she played a significant role in the political development of Cissie Gool, both as a motivational force in Gool’s own life and also because of the ways in which Naidu’s presence on the political stage in the mid-1920s shifted a gendered discourse which had not previously imagined the possibility of women’s leadership within nationalist and anti-segregationist organizations. In a context of patriarchal politics, Sarojini Naidu opened a door to the public recognition of women’s leadership, not only in India but also in South Africa. Although women’s active roles in nationalist politics throughout South Africa have been, and continue to be demonstrated, the public face of most political organizations remained male through the 20th century. Sarojini Naidu and Cissie Gool were among the first to challenge that monopoly, embracing the public interface between political movements and the state.
Contributor: Prof. Ellen DuBois - The League of Nations as Testing Ground for Women’s Rights in the UN   Show   Download
Contributor: Prof. Ellen DuBois - The League of Nations as Testing Ground for Women’s Rights in the UN   Hide   Download
The League of Nations as Testing Ground for Women’s Rights in the UN

This paper examines the links between the activities and achievements of international women’s rights activists in the League of Nations and the early years of the United Nations. Starting in 1930, with a push for married women’s equal nationality rights, a broad range of experienced women activists from numerous countries (including non member nations such as the USA) effectively pressured national delegations, the General Assembly, and the League Secretariat to take action on women’s equal rights concerns. In 1937, they finally succeeded in getting the League to undertake a systematic survey of the status of women in member nations, just at the moment which it ceased to function. Moving forward a mere nine years, the status of women project, the case for equal nationality standards, and many other objects of women’s rights concern were on the table at the moment of foundation of the United Nations, advocated by the same group of experienced women. This link with the late League is crucial for understanding the early recognition of women’s rights concerns in the UN, despite the opposition and disinterest of major powers, who intended the organization primarily for collective security purposes.
Contributor: Prof. Dr. Glenda Sluga - Women's Rights, Human Rights, and the Right to Self-Determination in the International Sphere, San Francisco 1945   Show
Contributor: Prof. Dr. Glenda Sluga - Women's Rights, Human Rights, and the Right to Self-Determination in the International Sphere, San Francisco 1945   Hide
Women's Rights, Human Rights, and the Right to Self-Determination in the International Sphere, San Francisco 1945

This paper investigates the place of women’s rights in postwar planning and discussions that took place at San Francisco in 1945, in the context of international discussions for the creation of a new international organisation, and of coinciding questions surrounding the rights of individuals more broadly, and of the significance of decolonisation. It focuses specifically on the dynamics between government delegates, including the British feminist and Labour Minister, Ellen Wilkinson, the U.S. delegate Virginia Gildersleeve, and the representatives of numerous women’s rights coalitions, including Jessie Street from Australia, and Bertha Lutz from Brazil. It draws on private papers that have not yet been analysed in this context, and integrates the question of women’s rights into the broader agenda of human rights, and the related problem of the rights of colonised peoples to self-determination. While historians have examined the role of women lobbyists in this period, little work has been done on understanding the variety of roles that women played in this international setting, or the impact on women’s rights of the political questions that dominated discussions, specifically the place of colonies in the new world order.
Contributor: Dr. Patricia van der Spuy - Sarojini Naidu, Cissie Gool and the politics of women’s leadership in South Africa in the 1920s   Show
Contributor: Dr. Patricia van der Spuy - Sarojini Naidu, Cissie Gool and the politics of women’s leadership in South Africa in the 1920s   Hide
Sarojini Naidu, Cissie Gool and the politics of women’s leadership in South Africa in the 1920s

Whereas Sarojini Naidu’s Gandhian nationalist feminist perspective has been examined in the context of her vision of Indian citizenship, her influence on feminist and nationalist movements in other parts of the world has been neglected. This paper reflects on the significance of Sarojini Naidu’s visit to South Africa in 1924 from the perspective of women’s political leadership within nationalist movements. Despite the ubiquity of women’s activism in South Africa, before Naidu’s visit men monopolized the executive positions in nationalist organizations. Her visit opened the door to the possibility of women presiding over nationalist politics. Her host in Cape Town, Cissie Gool, then known as a “socialite” within the “coloured” elite, would later become the first South African-born woman to preside over a nationalist organization. This paper argues, firstly, for the need to recognize the ways in which personal relationships formed between Naidu and her hosts influenced the development of nationalist politics and women’s political history in South Africa. Secondly, the paper explores the influence of Naidu’s public political role in shifting the dynamics of gendered discourses of power in South Africa – which facilitated the later nomination and election of Cissie Gool as president of the National Liberation League of South Africa, and later of the Non-European United Front.

In 1924, the Natal Indian Congress invited Sarojini Naidu to assist in the Congress’s campaign against the state’s attempts to segregate South Africans of Indian descent and to deprive them of their citizenship. She accepted the invitation and played a central role in the negotiations which culminated in the Cape Town Agreement of 1927. Sarojini Naidu’s visit also represents a watershed in the history of women’s political leadership in South Africa. This paper suggests that she played a significant role in the political development of Cissie Gool, both as a motivational force in Gool’s own life and also because of the ways in which Naidu’s presence on the political stage in the mid-1920s shifted a gendered discourse which had not previously imagined the possibility of women’s leadership within nationalist and anti-segregationist organizations. In a context of patriarchal politics, Sarojini Naidu opened a door to the public recognition of women’s leadership, not only in India but also in South Africa. Although women’s active roles in nationalist politics throughout South Africa have been, and continue to be demonstrated, the public face of most political organizations remained male through the 20th century. Sarojini Naidu and Cissie Gool were among the first to challenge that monopoly, embracing the public interface between political movements and the state.
Discussant: Dr. Judith Smart
 
13.  Gender and Imperialism
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Linda Clark - Assigned to Algeria: French Women Educators under the Pre-1914 Third Republic   Show
Contributor: Linda Clark - Assigned to Algeria: French Women Educators under the Pre-1914 Third Republic   Hide
Assigned to Algeria: French Women Educators under the Pre-1914 Third Republic

The French Third Republic's creation of new public educational institutions for women extended to the three departments of Algeria, notably through the creation of normal schools, secondary schools, higher primary schools, and additional primary schools. Examining the careers of a group of French women who taught in post-primary and normal schools intended for European pupils, this paper focuses on the specificity of the experience of teaching in Algeria and the "civilizing mission" that teachers were expected to further. The paper details French women teachers' perceptions of the Algerian experience, including perceptions of the indigenous population and inequalities facing women, and it assesses why some chose to remain in Algeria for extended periods while others quickly sought transfer to posts in France.
Contributor: Prof. Jennifer Duncan - Confronting Race: French Feminism becomes Global, 1970s-1990s   Show   Download
Contributor: Prof. Jennifer Duncan - Confronting Race: French Feminism becomes Global, 1970s-1990s   Hide   Download
Confronting Race: French Feminism becomes Global, 1970s-1990s

“Confronting Race: French Feminism becomes Global” addresses the relationships between French feminism and race by examining the extent to which French feminists of the Mouvement de la Libération des Femmes (MLF) expanded their analyses of gender to incorporate the views, issues, and concerns of French women of African descent. The paper draws from the published writings of feminists as well as progressive women’s magazines such as Amina: le magazine de la femme and F Magazine to gauge the extent to which French feminists re-defined their political practices in the wake of immigrant women’s movements and the growth of African feminist organizing, both of which became more prevalent and visible in the 1980s and 1990s. I argue that the MLF, like other western feminist movements of the 1970s, struggled initially to include an analysis of race into its activism and theoretical repertoire. However, the decline of the MLF as a unified political force by the end of the 1970s, coupled with increased public attention to immigrant women’s concerns in the late 1970s and 1980s, led feminists to re-evaluate their theoretical and social practices. In that process of reevaluation, some French feminists became more sensitive to non-white women’s concerns as well as to the need for a global feminist movement that transcended the borders of the Hexagon.
This tactical and conceptual shift can be seen in the periodical press as well as in prominent public actions on behalf of immigrant women that created new alliances between anti-racist activists, feminists, and social reform organizations. In part, this shift can be explained as the result of a fundamental restructuring of the demography of France, which created new publics in need of political mobilization and eager for information. In the same way that the MLF benefited from a large population of educated women who were an audience for the movement’s journals and texts, the new, multicultural demographic of contemporary France has created an audience for periodical, books, and associations that address themselves to non-white women’s concerns. This paper examines this shifting discourse on gender and compares the ways various women’s publications (literary, periodical, analytical) responded to public controversies such as debates over the United Nation’s Year of the Woman, abortion and reproductive rights, police repression, changes in laws related to refugee status and the right to exile, as well as heavily mediated cases of violence against women in the banlieue and controversies over the headscarf.
The main focus of the paper is on efforts to broaden French feminism and overcome hierarchies of race within that movement and its discourses about gender. Thus, the paper will contribute to the overall theme of “Unequal Sisters” by emphasizing the relationships between French women’s organizations within France and those groups’
Contributor: Dr. Elisa Miller - Domesticating Women, Domesticating Empire: Domesticity, Women, and American Education in the Philippines   Show
Contributor: Dr. Elisa Miller - Domesticating Women, Domesticating Empire: Domesticity, Women, and American Education in the Philippines   Hide
Domesticating Women, Domesticating Empire: Domesticity, Women, and American Education in the Philippines

This paper examines the role of domestic science in the Philippines after the American government assumed control of the nation after the War of 1898. American reformers and educators portrayed Filipina domesticity as vital to the political, social, and economic success of imperialism. The occupying American administration implemented a nationwide educational system in the Philippines, providing increased educational opportunities for Filipino girls and women. This model focused on gendered, industrial education for racial minorities, with students receiving gender-specific vocational and moral lessons. For girls and women, in the schools and in reform settings, industrial education primarily meant domestic science.

For Americans in the Philippines, domestic education served both the ideological and practical interests of empire. They viewed the Filipino home—encompassing essential issues such as eating, sleeping, dress, childrearing, gender interests in the new territory. The home played an important role in contemporary theories of evolution and civilization. The Filipino home, according to these American reformers, reflected a savage culture, and they portrayed their efforts as benevolent reform, “uplifting” and “civilizing” the native barbarians, as opposed to naked imperialism. In addition to helping justify imperialism, these reform efforts were important to assuaging the concerns of Americans back in the United States about any contaminating effect of the new territory on their country and culture. American officials and reformers also linked the
home to citizenship. They argued that a clean, healthy, and moral home was a necessary first step to teaching Filipinos how to be good citizens in a democracy. However, American supporters of domestic education claimed that it would provide numerous practical gains as well. They warned that Filipino domestic practices helped spread contagious disease that put American soldiers and administrators at risk. American officials hoped that their occupation would be a profitable one. The
domestic science curriculum often highlighted the economic goals of the Americans. Teachers stressed how new domestic industries could be created for Filipino women. Domestic science courses also became an important site for transforming local agriculture on the islands, for example using cooking lessons to help introduce and assimilate new crops. Domestic lessons also helped make American styles of food and domestic service available to the large number of Americans living in
the Philippines as part of the infrastructure of empire.

This paper relates to the topic of “Unequal Sisters” in a number of important ways. First it examines the centrality of women to the process of Western imperialism in the non-Western world, including white American women as agents and colonial women as subjects. The paper also demonstrates how in the imperial context, the domestic practices of colonial women assumed national and international significance. In this setting, Filipina and white American women contested the proper ideals and practices of gender, home, and family.
Contributor: Dr. Fiona Paisley - Safari Bride: Osa Johnson's Feminist Journey into the World of Women   Show
Contributor: Dr. Fiona Paisley - Safari Bride: Osa Johnson's Feminist Journey into the World of Women   Hide
Safari Bride: Osa Johnson's Feminist Journey into the World of Women

From the late 1910s through to the early post World War II era, adventurer Osa Johnson was a woman celebrity in the US and around the world. The author of several books, and co-filmmaker with her husband Martin, over these decades Osa travelled widely in the Pacific and Africa, aiming to bring to modern audiences never before seen images of ‘wild places,’ ‘ferocious animals’ and ‘savage peoples.’ While the Johnsons’ celebrity provides an extraordinary insight into the popular culture of US imperialism in the early twentieth century (not least in the reformulation of the safari as camera-hunt expedition) it also points to the ways in which Osa’s role on screen remodelled the white woman imperialist of the previous century for the movie age. In Osa we see the heroic girl-woman of frontier and empire rearticulated as the gun-toting yet humane expeditionist, friendly yet firm with her ‘native’ workers and delighted by baby animals, and who performed a flamboyant heterosexuality for the camera. Excelling in the womanly arts of cooking and maintaining civilized standards of dress and behaviour in the most uncivilized places, the very public partnership she and her husband performed revealed Osa as skilled also in hunting, fishing and safari-ing, often more so than her husband. While their partnership was marked by this degree of ‘equality,’ it also asserted hierarchies of gender and race as immutable and necessary difference. Osa’s role as co-filmmaker and promoter of their careers, for example, was kept mostly behind the scenes, and, in the larger sense, she and her husband brought back images resolutely proclaiming the gulf between civilization and savagery (both among humans and animals). One of the pairs’ central tropes was contrasting the agency of the modern woman (in the figure of Osa herself) and the status and conditions of ‘primitive’ women she met. This paper aims to unpack the ways in which Osa Johnson’s agency and modernity was established in contrast to those supposedly less-liberated and less-advanced indigenous women who were cast as passive figures in variously staged scenes instructing western audiences in the role of femininity and feminism in the evolution of human society.
Discussant: Prof. Angela Woollacott
 
14.  Varieties of Post-1945 Feminisms
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Ms. Chiara Bonfiglioli - Negotiating with the gendered borders of Cold War utopias: cultural memories of women’s political networks between Italy and SFR Yugoslavia (1945-1989)   Show   Download
Contributor: Ms. Chiara Bonfiglioli - Negotiating with the gendered borders of Cold War utopias: cultural memories of women’s political networks between Italy and SFR Yugoslavia (1945-1989)   Hide   Download
Negotiating with the gendered borders of Cold War utopias: cultural memories of women’s political networks between Italy and SFR Yugoslavia (1945-1989)

In my paper I’d like to present the first results of my PhD research (started in September 2008 at Utrecht University). The research aims to explore the transformations in political identities and cultural memories of women involved in transnational networks between Italy and SFR Yugoslavia during the Cold War period. I will focus in particular on three case studies in which women’s transnational mobilisations seemed to challenge national, ethnic and ideological divides: (1) The cooperation between anti-fascist women’s organizations at the end of the Second World War, particularly the cooperation between the Italian Women’s Union - UDI and the Antifascist Women’s Front – AFZ. (2) The parallel institutionalization of Italian and Yugoslav left-wing women’s organizations (UDI and CSAW-former AFZ) in the 1950s and 1960s, and their activities in the field of health and education, particularly towards women living in less developed regions. (3) The contacts between women engaged in second wave feminism in Italy and in SFR Yugoslavia after 1968, particularly during the international feminist conference “Comrade Woman. The Woman’s Question: a New Approach?” held in Belgrade in 1978.
For the 2010 conference I’d like to deal with the impact of historical and geopolitical change on women’s lives, basing myself on archival sources as well as on interviews with a number of women involved in these networks. In which way the political framework of the Cold War did shape women’s mobilization in the Italian and Yugoslav context? The political conflict between the two bordering states, as well as different discourses of political legitimation and nation-building (fascism and anti-fascism, communism and anti-communism, Catholicism and atheism, constitutional democracy, “self-managed” socialism, consumerism, modernization, West vs. East) must be taken into account as gendered discourses (Ivekovic and Mostov, 2002).
Moreover, in which way these interconnections and exchanges are remembered nowadays? New historical narratives and “situated imaginations” have emerged after the “transition” of 1989, as well as after the dramatic “Yugoslav wars” of the 1990s. I will particularly focus on processes of “nesting Orientalism” (Bakic-Hayden, 1995) or “frontier Orientalism” (Mihelj, 2009) affecting women’s mobilisations, the circulation of feminist ideas, and the knowledge of past relations and interconnections. My paper will attempt to bridge the gap between the many national/regional histories of feminism and women’s movements in Italy and in the former Yugoslavia. It will reflect upon the impact of larger historical phenomena in a European perspective (Caine and Sluga, 2000) while being critical towards exclusive notions of “Europe” and “Europeanness”.

References
Bakic-Hayden, Milica. 1995. Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugoslavia. Slavic Review 54 (4):917-931.
Caine, Barbara, and Glenda Sluga. 2000. Gendering European history. New York: Leicester University Press.
Ivekovic, Rada, and Julie Mostov, eds. 2002. From Gender to Nation. Ravenna: Longo Editore.
Mihelj, Sabina. 2009. Drawing the East-West Border: Narratives of Modernity and Identity in the Julian Region (1947-1954). In European Cold War Cultures: Societies, Media, and Cold War Experiences in East and West, edited by T. Lindenberger, M. M. Payk, B. Stover and A. Vowinckel. Oxford: Berghahn Books (forthcoming).

Contributor: Ms. Mir Zahida Naznin - Interconnecting Activities between Women and Women’s Organizations (1947-1995):   Show   Download
Contributor: Ms. Mir Zahida Naznin - Interconnecting Activities between Women and Women’s Organizations (1947-1995):   Hide   Download
Interconnecting Activities between Women and Women’s Organizations (1947-1995):

The anti-colonial upsurge was an important period in organizing women in colonial Bengal. Members of different political organizations took initiatives to organize women for the sake of an independent nation. However, the issue of independence overshadowed everything else and women leaders could not establish gender inequalities as a political or important issue. So the post-colonial era showed the real objectives of male-dominated politics. Like women in other parts of the world, women in Bangladesh had to face the negative attitude of male-dominated society regarding the question of women’s empowerment. No initiatives were taken to remove sexual or familial control over women either by the Post-colonial nation state or by the so-called liberal leaders. And although the Swadeshi movement was led by the theme of `Kali ma (the Goddess of power in the Hindu religion) to use women’s internal power for war, women’s contributions were in vain as far as their own rights were concerned. The vast participation of rural women in the ‘Tevaga’, Tonk or Nankar movements affected the anti-colonial stands of these movements, but women leaders saw everything through rose-colored spectacles and were not prepared for the egocentric attitude of their male counterparts. Hence the outcome re women’s role in decision-making procedures was disappointing.
Women therefore started to organize themselves for their own sake. The post-war reformation let to the establishment of different types of organization to challenge women’s inequalities in different fields. Among the then East-Pakistan women organizational thinking emerged and some leading women took initiatives to generate ideas about women’s activities and to ensure social justice for women. They established the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA) in 1952. The Family Law Ordinance (1961) was a major achievement of the APWA together with organizations such as the ‘Begum Club’, ‘Narinda Mohila (women) Samity’, ‘Uari Mohila (women) Samity’, ‘Gendaria Mohila (women) Samity’, despite some severe impediments put into the Law by conservative politicians. The Family Law Ordinance was a step forward in vindicating the right of women and forbidding husbands to take more wives without the permission of the existing wife. The Dhaka Business and Professional Women’s Club and the Young Women’s Christian Association were set up in 1960 and 1961 respectively. But at that time organizational perseverance was not so strong, as success or fame depended on the leadership. However, women’s organizations became the mentor of changing Bangladesh society from the 1970s. Increasing worldwide poverty and increasing awareness of women’s inferior condition under the impact of the United Nations Organization were the main factors for these vital changes towards gender equality. In this regard the 1970s was a crucial decade in the organizational history of women for diverse issue-based development. ‘Women for Women (1973)’, ‘Jatiyo Mohila Sangstha’ (the National Women’s Organization, 1976) and other organizations were emerging at that time, showing the development of different approaches. My paper will explore 1) what were the goals of the women’s organizations established in this region in the post-colonial era; 2) to what extend these women’s organizations interacted with Bangladesh women in general; and 3) compare them with women’s organizations in other parts of the world.
Contributor: Dr. Kiyoko Yamaguchi - Housewife-Lib and Co-op Activism in post-1970s Japan   Show
Contributor: Dr. Kiyoko Yamaguchi - Housewife-Lib and Co-op Activism in post-1970s Japan   Hide
Housewife-Lib and Co-op Activism in post-1970s Japan

This paper introduces one style of the women’s movement in Japan, with focus on the “silent majority” shufu (housewives) living in post-1970s Danchi (employer-owned collective houses).

The gap between the ideas of the minority Lib and feminist leaders and of the great majority of housewife-Lib is briefly explained first, followed by case study of “average, middle class” wives’ meeting via Co-op activities.

The Lib and feminist movement in Japan co-existed with the counterparts in the West, at least amongst the small number of leaders. The majority was more influenced by the imported information on advanced and ideal “Westernized” men and society. Yet, these non-radical women were searching only the liberation, but not the equality between men and women. They wanted husbands to share the housekeeping, but they did not feel the need to share the (traditionally masculine) social responsibilities.

This partial feminism is called as Shufu-Lib. They have higher education and more spare time than their mothers - thanks to the post-Korean and Vietnam Wars rapid economic growth, the development of electric appliances, and the decreasing number of children. In addition, supported by the Japanese government’s traditional “man work, wife stays at home” family model, they are “liberated” from tax, social security, or pension contribution payments.

Quite different from the Western Lib, the Japanese Shufu-Lib claims the women’s liberation and continuity of this traditional gender role at the same time. They want more rights, but in reality, they want to maintain the “weaker” status to be financially supported. In certain sense, the governmentally given gender role is in favour of these women. In fact, the housewives after the 1970s have been more “liberated” than working women, even financially.

The quality of life of the shufus in same Danchi is considered similar, marking the emergence of “average class” mentality in post-war Japan. Almost all of them are new nuclear family with salary-man husband and two children, without elders or pets. As the majority kept moving nationwide, the community bond was more temporal and artificial than surrounding traditional communities.

Even though the Danchi husbands had governmentally certified good jobs, and the wives also had better educational background, they were considered unsettled and not well-off in the larger social context. Thus, the Danchi women’s frustration over their lifestyle became similar and they were more socially conscious than other women.
Discussant: Prof. Francisca de Haan
 
15.  'Colored Citizens': Women's Freedom, Citizenship, and Civil Rights in the African Diaspora
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This panel explores African American and African women’s pursuit of informal and formal citizenship through their engagements with the State in the former “slave” and “free” states of the U.S.; in Havana and Rio de Janeiro; in Liberia, Mali, and Gabon. Bringing together scholars of women’s slavery and emancipation with those who study women’s experience in colonial and post-colonial African states, this panel explores the goals and strategies advanced by women as they claimed a legitimate relationship with the state. The politics and activism of women as former slaves and former colonial subjects allows us to consider the common threads and sharp distinctions that marked cultural, social, sexual, economic, and political inequalities and women's challenges to them across and within the African Diaspora
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Contributor: Dr. Brandi Brimmer - "Making Claims, Contesting Widowhood: U.S. Southern Black Women and the Post Emancipation State"   Show
Contributor: Dr. Brandi Brimmer - "Making Claims, Contesting Widowhood: U.S. Southern Black Women and the Post Emancipation State"   Hide
"Making Claims, Contesting Widowhood: U.S. Southern Black Women and the Post Emancipation State"

This paper explores the political claims that freedwomen made within the United States Military Pension Bureau immediately after the Civil War and the factors that led them to alter these claims later. Scholars of late nineteenth century have recovered a broad spectrum of black middle-class political discourses for rights and inclusion. They have focused on black women’s campaigns for moral authority, or racial uplift ideology, and on manhood suffrage battles. My research on black women’s claims on the government adds to this body of scholarship by demonstrating how the United States Military Pension Bureau was another medium freedwomen used for making and contesting political claims. Broadly construed, middle class claims for rights and inclusion were couched in a way that reflected the hegemonic values of white America, as they attempted to subvert and transform the logic of race and gender subordination. Freedwomen making political claims on the basis of their understanding of womanhood, which included the freedom to define marriage on their own terms, suggest their ambivalence about embracing the Pension Bureau’s definition of Civil War widowhood. The correspondence between African American women and bureau officials over the meaning of Civil War widowhood offers a rich historical record of these negotiations over what constitutes a legitimate claim on the federal government. In this paper, I will explore the specific type of political claims freedwomen were making within the Military Pension Bureau and what these claims suggest about the nation they envisioned. By illuminating freedwomen’s ongoing struggles within the Military Pension Bureau, this paper will shed light black women’s ambivalence towards national inclusion at the turn of the century.
Contributor: Dr. Camillia Cowling - Defining Freedom: Women of Colour and the Ending of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro, 1870-1888   Show
Contributor: Dr. Camillia Cowling - Defining Freedom: Women of Colour and the Ending of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro, 1870-1888   Hide
Defining Freedom: Women of Colour and the Ending of Slavery in Havana and Rio de Janeiro, 1870-1888

This paper explores how enslaved and free(d) women of colour shaped the meanings of legal freedom during slavery’s gradual abolition in the cities of Havana and Rio de Janeiro. Scholars of the transition to “free” labour in Brazil and Cuba - the last countries of the Americas to abolish slavery - have focused on (ex-) slaves’ attempts to give “meaning” to freedom. Looking at this issue through a gendered lens, the paper posits a series of “meanings” that had specific resonances for women and which need to be explored in their own right. Freedom was bound up, for women, with the chance to live and work in cities, living as independently as possible from former owners, earning money and accumulating property. It meant gaining custody of children and preventing family separation, as well as the possibility of resisting sexual abuse - a central feature of women’s experience of enslavement across the Americas. Particularly in the cities, women had long struggled towards achieving legal freedom for themselves and their children, and they used many of the same tools in giving meaning to freedom once gained. Despite the denial of active political citizenship for all women and most men in each case, this quest to fashion and participate in freedom by urban women of colour shaped broader city-wide and nationwide struggles over questions such as mobility, space, labour, physical violence and family life during the transition to “free” labour in each country.
Contributor: Prof. Leslie Schwalm - "What are the rights of citizens? U.S. African American Women and Citizenship in The Post-Emancipation North"   Show
Contributor: Prof. Leslie Schwalm - "What are the rights of citizens? U.S. African American Women and Citizenship in The Post-Emancipation North"   Hide
"What are the rights of citizens? U.S. African American Women and Citizenship in The Post-Emancipation North"

After the passage of the 1866 Civil Rights Act guaranteeing African Americans “the full and equal benefit of all laws,” a group of African American women in Washington, D.C. sent beautiful bouquets to the bill’s supporters in the Senate Chamber. “We exercise our civil right to express our gratitude,” the attached cards noted, which were signed, “Colored Citizens.” This was one of many acts, private and public, that informed debates over the substance of black freedom and black citizenship and were part of the overlooked history of emancipation and Reconstruction in the northern and supposedly "free" states of the U.S.. They constitute a history of politics that ranged from the quotidian decisions that black northerners made in the aftermath of emancipation, to the demand for formal political and civil rights. The most invisible actors in this political struggle have been the African American women who worked to define and defend the meaning of citizenship for themselves, their families, and their communities. This paper explores the venues in which African American women made claims for citizenship rights, and the ways in which race and gender shaped the location, content, and success of those claims.
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Rachel Jean-Baptiste
 
16.  Overriding Inequality: Transnational Networks of Women Scientists and Academics in the First Half of the 20th Century
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This panel will focus on transnational female networking efforts to overcome inequality in academia. It will mainly address these efforts in the European context of science and higher education during the first half of the 20th century. The panel will focus on organizational as well as individual efforts to create a transnational female academic community, and to produce a common knowledge and on ‚academic women in science and society’. The overarching interest of the panel is to assess if and how transnational networks influenced or improved the situation for female academics in research and professional contexts in their respective countries.
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Contributor: Prof. Christina Florin - Challenging the State: The Struggle for Professional Citizenship among Swedish University Women, 1900-1925   Show
Contributor: Prof. Christina Florin - Challenging the State: The Struggle for Professional Citizenship among Swedish University Women, 1900-1925   Hide
Challenging the State: The Struggle for Professional Citizenship among Swedish University Women, 1900-1925

Swedish university women united in a national organization already in 1904 - earlier than in any other country. Since they were only a few and lived in different cities, they ignored educational and professional boundaries and made connections with women in other disciplines and organizations. The actions of the Swedish organisation, called ABKF (Akademiskt Bildade Kvinnors Forening), are an example of how science and academic knowledge could be used in a professional and political gender struggle. These women greatly tried to influence the public opinion and were very active in many other contexts as well - in politics, suffrage, philanthropy, culture and publishing.

Even if the female graduates had the same formal competence and cultural capital as their male counterparts, they were excluded from a large number of higher positions, especially in the public and State sectors. In this paper I will explore how Swedish women organized in the ABKF tried to challenge the male monopoly on higher postitions. I will also take a look at the Swedish women's connection with the International Federation of University Women (IFUW): when did the ABKF become affiliated with the IFUW, why then, and what were the consequences for the ABKF? The sources include minutes from the ABKF, parliament discussions and material from Grammer school teachers’ organisations.

Christina Florin
Stockholm University
History Department
E-mail Christina.Florin@historia.su.se
Contributor: Dr. Georgeta Nazarska - The Bulgarian Association of University Women (1924-1950)   Show
Contributor: Dr. Georgeta Nazarska - The Bulgarian Association of University Women (1924-1950)   Hide
The Bulgarian Association of University Women (1924-1950)

The paper explores the Bulgarian Association of University Women (BAUW) in the interwar period and up to the early 1950s.
The paper outlines the emergence of the BAUW, as the first feminist organisation in Bulgaria gathered women intellectuals with various fields of expertise and devoted its initial efforts to equal rights of education and professional career.
The paper analyses the BAUW as the first network of women academics in Bulgaria. The main question that will be discuss is whether or not the BAUW was an organization which supported women’s struggle against the segregation in the University and the museums, which promoted their scientific work in domestic institutions, which assisted them before public prejudices, which gave them opportunities to make contacts with colleagues abroad and which provide them with scholarships. A special attention will be given to Dr. Elizabeth Kara-Michailova’s career - an outstanding nuclear physicist, a member of the BAUW, a fellow of the IFUW scholarship, the first Associate Professor in Bulgaria.
Finally, some parallels between the BAUW and the local branches of the IFUW in the Southeast Europe will be done.
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Krassimira Daskalova
 
17.  Rethinking Class and Gender Norms, Marriage and the Family
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Prof. Dr. Avital Bloch - Unequal Sisters and the U.S. Family: Class Differences in the Postwar Liberal Ideal and the Feminist Critique of the Sixties   Show   Download
Contributor: Prof. Dr. Avital Bloch - Unequal Sisters and the U.S. Family: Class Differences in the Postwar Liberal Ideal and the Feminist Critique of the Sixties   Hide   Download
Unequal Sisters and the U.S. Family: Class Differences in the Postwar Liberal Ideal and the Feminist Critique of the Sixties

This paper will focus on the changing ideas of the concept of the family during the postwar decades in the United States: since the end of the 1940s through the 1970s. The idealization of the bourgeois nuclear family in the early 20th Century will be described and the explanation how, in the 1960s and 1970s, it gave way to criticism against the family as a fundamental social organization will be analyzed. I will connect the changing beliefs about the family as a gender institution, the role of women in it, and the developing feminist thought to the differences between women of unequal social standing. While for the first part of the last century American women of all classes were expected to marry, become homemakers, mothers, and take a lead of the family and thus the general social wellbeing created through it, in a matter of a few years new feminist thinking evolved. A new women’s critique and an emerging Women’s Liberation Movement pointed to the family as an enemy to society and to women themselves.
First, the paper will mention how Victorian family ideals endured and dominated the American society for decades. Including a non-working mother model, they were also influential for the lower and working classes, although many women of those sectors could not afford such luxury. Second, I will describe the structure and the role of the middle class suburban family after WWII as the newer mainstream ideal for liberal society. The paper will stress the gap between those who believed in that model family, guided by a content homemaker, and working mothers and housewives who could not reach that ideal. Third, I will analyze Betty Friedan’s 1963 sensational book The Feminine Mystique as the pioneer social-political critique against the admired role of middle class women and their families. She criticized society for deceiving educated women by luring them into an “idyllic” but, for them, dead suburbs and meaningless domestic work. In taking the air out of the “perfect” postwar homemaker Friedan began the first phase of the women’s movement. Neglecting working and poor women who were unequal to their higher classes educated sisters, however, Friedan and her movement failed to attract them. Fourth, the paper will look at the development of Second Wave Feminism since the mid-1960s, led by New Left oriented young women students. Their radical feminism and articulation of the concept of gender went even further in rejecting the family as an institution that could fit their needs and aspirations. Yet they also neglected the issues women and families of lower classes confronted. The paper will conclude that even at the height of feminism that lasted through the 1980s, it was mostly oblivions of women who lacked the characteristics of middle and upper class privilege.
Contributor: Prof. Carolyn Eichner - The Power of Naming: Women, Radicalism, and Naming in Comparative Historical Perspective   Show
Contributor: Prof. Carolyn Eichner - The Power of Naming: Women, Radicalism, and Naming in Comparative Historical Perspective   Hide
The Power of Naming: Women, Radicalism, and Naming in Comparative Historical Perspective

"The Power of Naming: Women, Radicalism, and Naming in Comparative Historical Perspective" investigates feminist socialist challenges to state authority over marriage and private life in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taking a comparative perspective, the paper will examine the historiographically neglected intersections of feminism, socialism, marriage, and motherhood, while considering the inter-relationship between radicalism, revolutionary tradition, family, and the state. The study focuses on French, Russian, and American feminists’ political appropriation of marriage and names. Challenging state control over the naming of children, the use of patronymic surnames, and the regulation of marriage, feminists defied state intervention in personal and familial rights. Analyzing their activism in terms of gender, class, law, and the nation, my project exemplifies the gendered nature of the state’s authority over personal life, and feminist efforts to remove patriarchal controls. I contend that feminists viewed both naming and the rejection of legal marriage as individual political acts and as a continuation and appropriation of revolutionary traditions; this activism contributed to their construction of radical identities, comprising elements of larger feminist socialist strategies.

Contributor: Dr. Yuthika Mishra - 'Family in Colonial India: Equalizing Forces -Unequal Consequences   Show   Download
Contributor: Dr. Yuthika Mishra - 'Family in Colonial India: Equalizing Forces -Unequal Consequences   Hide   Download
'Family in Colonial India: Equalizing Forces -Unequal Consequences

India is a land of diversity and linked to this is plurality - not only of language, culture, caste, race or religion but plurality also of belief, faith, ideology, institutions and communities. With so much variety and multiplicity the task of examining an institution of the caliber of family becomes all the more tough, which this paper seeks to attain. While ‘family’ as an institution is as old as human society its evolution has taken place from time to time and in different contexts. Broadly speaking here the eastern and western notions of family have been examined from a socio- historical viewpoint. Since when the family became nuclear from being extended and how, what was its impact on the gendered role of women, and of course the elements of continuity which also sometimes acted as deterrents- such questions have been dealt with at a theoretical level. Set against the backdrop of liberal ideas that were being introduced by the British and the surging nationalism and reform in nineteenth and twentieth centuries the paper tries to explore the imbalances that cropped up in family and society in the course of India’s tryst with the West.
The impact of 19th and 20th century developments on the nature and constitution of Indian family has been traced in the personal, emotional and familial historical context within the space of the home as well as the public sphere outside. In colonial India the process of reform also changed rules governing the home and family life. The older joint family system was not only being challenged but newer roles for women were emerging albeit within the patriarchal framework which was acquiring a new color. At the same time women were getting increasingly aware and responsive about their rights and duties and this consciousness definitely helped in the formation of the first women’s movement in India. The use of the word ‘feminism’ in the Indian context was still too farfetched although its impact was being felt all over thus leading to the birth of the ‘woman question’. More specifically in the political context women were increasingly making their presence felt by way of participation in the movement for national freedom.
First the changing gender roles shall be analyzed in the backdrop of the anti-imperialist movement as this had a major impact on the ways in which families were constituted and male-female roles outlined. Emergence of the image of women as Mother or Sister helped the nationalist cause and also brought women in the fold of the existing structures. Secondly, it has been felt by the feminists, both Indian as well as foreign, that most of the ideas about women are generated and shaped by men. But it would be wrong to see women as passive recipients. This is very well borne out by the fact that this was the time when most of the women’s organizations and associations sprang up and most of the women centric reforms and legislations were undertaken. It is not to be forgotten that in the Orient there is already a strong tradition of women’s protest and resistance. Thirdly, the problems of Indian women across all sections and classes are very different from those of the West. The issues of workers and peasants are also quite different from the upper or middleclass women. Above all, class was not the only hierarchy in which women’s lives was enmeshed; there was caste, community, religion and above all the familial bonds that tied them down. The thrust of the argument in this paper is that despite these adversities the Indian woman has managed to emerge stronger and much respected as she not only managed to steer clear of all the hindrances but also has been able to establish her sway over most of the family and household affairs. While the struggle of women is on, in the present day context Indian women are making a mark in both private as well as public spheres
Contributor: Dr. Tamara Zwick - The Invisible Circle: An Exchange of Letters between Caspar Voght and Germaine de Staël during the Era of Revolution   Show   Download
Contributor: Dr. Tamara Zwick - The Invisible Circle: An Exchange of Letters between Caspar Voght and Germaine de Staël during the Era of Revolution   Hide   Download
The Invisible Circle: An Exchange of Letters between Caspar Voght and Germaine de Staël during the Era of Revolution

For the conference, I propose an analysis of a transnational exchange of letters between Hamburg Enlightenment figure Caspar Voght and French-speaking Swiss salonière Germaine de Staël in the early nineteenth century. Beginning with a single sentence by Voght—“I have always had an aversion to women tormented with the desire to have an historical existence”—I explore the foundation of Voght’s aversion to women determined to have a public reputation, and argue that his attitude represents a broader European phenomenon. Although the exchange is between a German man and a Swiss woman, I argue that it in fact reflects the deep connectedness between Voght and a network of semi-public women in Hamburg with whom Voght surrounded himself and who made his own reputation grander. In the paper, I would underscore this particular aspect of their relationship—namely, that Voght’s supposed aversion involved a hypocrisy easily exposed by the networks of women with whom he shared all his travel diaries and correspondences.
In this sense, the paper is an exploration of those “nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies” that defined appropriate behavior for women according to a strict adherence to nineteenth-century class and gender norms. Furthermore, although the conference appears to be aimed at a serious examination of non-Western themes and subjects, my own work’s examination of issues in a trans-national European context might offer an excellent cross-fertilization on particular theoretical or methodological questions common to examinations of conduct and gender. Finally, I am interested in de Staël and Voght’s relatively brief relationship less to laud de Staël than to explore the broader implications emanating from a close reading of their words. In particular, I consider the repetitive censure meted out to de Staël by Voght—that she acted like a man by having a public reputation—such as it offers an explanation as to why other women made different choices in light of the rules defined by patriarchy. By taking this approach, the paper would be a caution to historians overly focused on a search for public demonstrations of ego over private and semi-private paths of influence and meaning.
Discussant: Prof. Eileen Boris
 
18.  Women's Collective Action and Creativity in Cultural Industries in the 20th Century
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“Unequal Sisters:” Women, Gender, and Global Inequalities in Historical Perspective. The aim of this broad theme is to focus on and further explore women’s history from a global and non-Western perspective. Within that frame we are looking for papers that deal with a variety of material and nonmaterial inequalities and hierarchies – such as those related to class, gender, “race,” caste, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, education, age, or health – that have affected women’s lives in and across all parts of the world and in different historical periods. We also hope to explore the many ways in which women have challenged or fought these inequalities and hierarchies, i.e., through different kinds of politics and activism, as well as individual actions and forms of resistance in the so-called “private sphere.”
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Contributor: Ioana Cirstocea - The Misfits: forms and spaces of feminine collective action in 1990s’ Romania   Show
Contributor: Ioana Cirstocea - The Misfits: forms and spaces of feminine collective action in 1990s’ Romania   Hide
The Misfits: forms and spaces of feminine collective action in 1990s’ Romania

The paper aims to describe two parallel ways of women’s mobilization in Romania in the 1990s.
First we consider a popular mobilization centered on a feminine magazine created and directed by a woman writer and journalist in her fifties at the beginning of the 1990s. Through letters addressed to the directors and the answers she and other readers gave, the “problems page” of the magazine slowly became the support of a practical solidarity network involving thousands of persons helping each other to overcome not only the psychological, but also the economic difficulties of the 1990. References to traditional values such as the family, the Christian love for others and solidarity, together with a populist claim for justice for the losers of the transition are at the core of this infrapolitical network.
On the other hand, struggling against a widespread “allergy to feminism” in post-socialist Eastern Europe, small groups of young intellectual women, in touch with international democracy promoters and Western feminist intellectuals and militants, worked to set a public claim for a new gender contract. They advocated, through NGOs, the importance of gender equality on the agenda of the new democracy and, by the end of the 1990s, they settled gender studies as a new academic discipline in the universities, becoming the experts of this field of political and scientific inquiry.
After having studied these two parallel arenas, we try to understand how their respective agents and discourses kept separate ways and how they failed to put their resources in common. Turned to a Western political and social model, claiming the inertia and the conservative aspects of the Romanian society, the intellectual avant-garde missed the political resources embedded in the practical solidarity and mutual help of the active popular audience of the magazine, and largely ignored the sisterhood experienced by the poor through this “paper family”. Therefore, class, age, and education function as the main dividing lines of the national women’s “group”; the intellectual circles share with their counterparts in the other Eastern European countries the transnational, English speaking political and scientific socialization, but they are quite disconnected from the immediate concerns of ordinary women.
Contributor: Ansev Demirhan - Double Entendre: The Liberation or Subjugation of Turkish Women during Turkey's period of modernization in the1920s and 1930s   Show
Contributor: Ansev Demirhan - Double Entendre: The Liberation or Subjugation of Turkish Women during Turkey's period of modernization in the1920s and 1930s   Hide
Double Entendre: The Liberation or Subjugation of Turkish Women during Turkey's period of modernization in the1920s and 1930s

In 1923 the Republic of Turkey was created under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. His objective was to ensure Turkey’s position as a political force within the Western world by transforming Turkey into a secular republic. The social and political reforms that directly impacted Turkish women’s lives during the 1920s and 1930s, such as female enfranchisement, coeducation, and marriage reform were not the conscientious efforts of Ataturk to end female subjugation. Instead, the reforms solidified the international reputation of Turkey as a modern state. The reforms were state-initiated and not as the result of a feminist ethos.

What prevented Turkish women during this period from creating a feminist ethos was a Muslim unconsciousness that was still, in regards to women, very much a part of Turkish politics. In response to the Kemalist reforms, Turkish feminists in the 1980s fought for true secularization, declaring that Islam was the greatest threat to equality. The appropriation of Western feminist epistemology by Turkish feminists left no room for Islam in feminism. This paper will examine the relationship between Turkish politics and Islam and its affects on Turkish women’s lives during the period of modernization in the 1920s and 1930s. Also, this paper will argue, through an historical analysis of Islamic religious texts, that there can be an amalgamation of Islam and feminism, making equity in non-secular Islamic countries a possibility.

This paper employs a non-western perspective in order to understand the specific ways in which the concept of equity is culturally influenced. An historical analysis of Turkish politics, the Turkish feminist movement, and Islam create a possibility for a form of equity that is conducive to Turkish women, while also respecting Turkish culture.
Contributor: Dr. Kennan Ferguson - Creating Community, Creating Cookery: Women, Exclusion, and U.S. Community Cookbooks in the 20th Century”   Show
Contributor: Dr. Kennan Ferguson - Creating Community, Creating Cookery: Women, Exclusion, and U.S. Community Cookbooks in the 20th Century”   Hide
Creating Community, Creating Cookery: Women, Exclusion, and U.S. Community Cookbooks in the 20th Century”

Cookbooks are not usually conceived of as political texts, as the demands they make upon us are not traditionally political ones. They do not declaim, as do manifestos. They do not constrict, as do laws. They do not command accord, as do arguments. Their stipulations are often vague (“until browned”) and their audiences inattentive (for example, many cookbooks are bought for the ideals of cooking and the beauty of the photography). Indeed, even their narrative form is different from most texts: they fail to tell a story, and one dips into them depending upon one’ s time, appetite, and taste. The appear marginal in literature and history: often written for and by women, they are seen as outside the mainstream of political actors.

But cookbooks do form who we are in ways large and small. Here I follow the insights of Jacques Rancière, who attends to politics as the “distribution of the sensible”: the means and effects of what we can sense determine the boundaries of what we can do and who we are. To look at the openings and promises of sensation is to analyze political potentiality and possibility, as well as to note how sensation limits and constrains. It is important to recognize, however, that such affective dynamics have material (and materialized) traces, and a cookbook provides a printed, textualized locale of taste and identity.

In this paper, I examine community cookbooks as a genre of political writing, focusing especially on the United States. I show how locally-produced cookbooks, written by groups of women and published by neighborhood associations, religious groups, and leagues, establish both the categories of belonging (who is invited to contribute) and of exclusion (for whom are the recipes designed). These lines of demarcation emerge as overtly culinary as well as culturally particular. For example, cookbooks from and for orthodox Jews affirm and reproduce dietary laws, while those from the American Jim Crow South often draw unstated but clear racial boundaries. These books not only participate in the creation of communities, but protect the borders that make these communities meaningful, showing the importance, value, and sapidity of “our” food.
Discussant: Prof. Berteke Waaldijk