CfP: Gender, Work and Service in Late Medieval Europe (1300–1600) (Event, 09/2022, Köln); by: 31.01.2022

Eva-Maria Cersovsky (Univ. of Cologne) (Web) and Julia Exarchos (RWTH Aachen Univ.) (Web)

Time: 29.-30.09.2022
Venue: University of Cologne
Proposals by: 31.01.2022

Work has long been recognised as crucial in both articulating and shaping gendered norms about one’s role and place within a given society. Medievalists have gained important insights by attention to gender, reassessing the very nature of work and blurring the lines between home and workplace, productive and reproductive labour, remunerated and unpaid work. Focussing on women’s work in particular, they have broadened the scope beyond the adult male worker to shed light on the varied economic contributions of women which were not only central to the survival and prosperity of medieval families and households but also crucial to the entire medieval economy and society. Yet, the conditions under which different men and women worked could vary tremendously as reflected by gendered regulations, earnings, work status, levels of coercion and autonomy, and cultural values attached to specific types of work. Thus, there is still considerable disagreement amongst scholars about the effects patriarchal structures had on women’s and men’s working opportunities, particularly during the late medieval period.

This conference aims at revisiting the complex relations between gender and work in Europe from 1300 to 1600, both in urban as well as in rural contexts. It seeks to bring together medievalists at all career stages currently working on any aspect of the field, providing a forum for international discussion. However, we would especially like to draw more sustained attention to service as an understudied but important socio-historical reality of work and working relationships. This includes e.g., domestic service, service work within institutions such as hospitals or brothels, at ports and on ships as well as services provided for a city via public office. We also encourage approaches that view gender within a matrix of other factors examining the flexible and complex interrelations of different labels, identities and experiences (e.g. socio-economic status, age, life cycle, marital status, religion, ethnicity). Papers attentive to men and masculinites are especially welcome, too.

The organizers invite speakers to present unpublished work in progress and focus on still-unresolved methodological or theoretical problems. Read more and source … (Web)