CfP: Women and Gender in Colonial Contexts (Event: Paris, Jan. 2012); DL: 31.05.2010

Université Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne (Cemaf et Centre d’Histoire du XIXe siècle), Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon (LARHRA), New York University (Paris)

Time: 19-21 January, 2012
Veneu: Paris
Deadline: 31 May, 2010

For decades, colonizing was perceived and analysed as a masculine undertaking. This is probably why historians of colonisation (and decolonisation) – who themselves were mostly men – paid little attention to the study of women, of gender relations, or of how gender identities and sexualities were constructed in colonial contexts.

Women were seen as negligible actors in colonial wars (both during or after the conquest), even though they were important actors within and victims of such conflicts. Moreover, as primary agents of the European “civilising mission”, whose alleged principles were to “educate, cure, moralise and convert”, women – both colonisers and the colonized – took part in the process of national assertion and of colonial domination. Last but not least, the colonial process created – and was constantly reshaped by – tensions as well as new forms of racial or social hierarchies and gender roles. Thus, the “colonial making of gender” proved to be a powerful vector of social transformation, both in metropoles and in colonies, as recent stimulating historical research has demonstrated.

The International conference on “Women and Gender in Colonial Contexts” seeks to assess the current state of historical research on this subject in a longue durée perspective, i.-e. from the late 18th-early 19th centuries to the decolonisations of Asia, Africa, and the South Sea Islands (second half of the 20th century). Participants are welcome to present research focusing on specific colonial contexts, both in terms of time and space. At the same time, studies of women’s experiences or of gender construction through a comparative perspective – between colonies or Empires – is strongly encouraged, as it will allow a better understanding of local versus global situations.

The Conference will also offer a significant opportunity to explore new sources, new approaches and new historiographical trends (notably through the combination of various epistemological tendencies such as micro-history, social history, subaltern studies, post-colonial studies or gender studies), in order to show the vitality of this field of research.

The organisers encourage scholars to submit papers that investigate, within the framework drawn up by the Conference title, relevant aspects of the following : politics and policies, work, religion, education, health, family, mobilities, sexualities, body/bodies, war, slavery, violence, masculinities…

Proposals in French or English (300 words) should be sent by May 31st, 2010, to:

Please attach a short CV stating your institutional affiliation.


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