CfP: Towards a history of women’s self-defence against gender-based violence (Edited Volume); by: 15.03.2023

Simona Feci (Palermo) and Laura Schettini (Padova) – Società italiana delle storiche (SIS) (Web)

Proposals due: 15.03.2023

Male violence against women has gained increasing importance in recent decades, both in the public debate and among scholars. Historical research has analysed it since the 1970s, gradually taking into consideration the multiple dimensions and forms of violence and studying long-term continuities and changing factors. Important insights have been gained into the history of the legal legitimisation of violence, achieved through secular institutions such as the ius corrigendi, crime of honour, forced marriage by rape, the discipline of adultery, separations, and female sexuality. If at an early stage historiography worked mainly on the deep links that violence had and has with gender inequality, family order, patriarchy, more recent strands of study have considered the emotions enlisted in masculine narratives of violence (see Rizzo and L. Schettini Ed.: Maschilità e violenza di genere, Genesis XVIII, 2019, 2), the variables – of race, class and other social categories – that contribute to the construction of the category of victim, the practices of male support at the scene of violence – from the community to courtrooms, passing through public security offices and domestic space.
Many aspects of the history of male violence against women remain unexplored. In particular, the history of women’s practices of self-defence, individual and collective, organised and spontaneous, against male violence is still to be recounted. This is the topic on which the editors are opening a research project and inviting proposals for a collective book to be published in spring 2024 by Italian publisher Viella. This is a crucial history, which promises to take into consideration new elements useful for a more correct understanding of the issue.
Elsa Dorlin’s study „Self-Defense. A Philosophy of Violence“ (2022/2017) with the various historical examples supporting the author’s considerations, is an important first reference for delving into the experiences of reaction to the domination exercised over the body and lives, not only of women. Another study … read more and source (Web).