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					Exploratory Workshop Scheme
Standing Committee for the Humanities (SCH) Standing Committee for Social Sciences (SCSS)

ESF Exploratory Workshop on
'European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing GenderBased Identities'
University of Lincoln, UK, 8-11 September 2009

Convened by: Professor Krista Cowman  and Dr Jirina Smejkalova

 Department of Humanities, University of Lincoln, UK  Centre for European Cultural Studies, University of Lincoln, UK / Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Co-sponsored by the University of Lincoln

The European Science Foundation (ESF) is an association of 80 Member Organisations devoted to scientific research in 30 European countries. The Mission of ESF is to provide a common platform for its Member Organisations in order to advance European research and to explore new directions for research at the European level. Through its activities, the ESF serves the needs of the European research community in a global context. The main objectives of ESF for the years 2006-2010 as defined by its current Strategic Plan are to promote Science Strategy and Science Synergy, paving the way for initiatives across disciplinary and geographic boundaries in the European Research Area (ERA). The Exploratory Workshops scheme is one of the key instruments of the Science Strategy “pillar”. Each year, ESF supports approximately 50 Exploratory Workshops across all scientific domains. The focus of the scheme is on workshops aiming to explore an emerging and/or innovative field of research or research infrastructure, also of interdisciplinary character. Workshops are expected to open up new directions in research or new domains. It is expected that a workshop will conclude with plans for specific follow-up research activities and/or collaborative actions or other specific outputs either within the frame of ESF (e.g. prepare the ground to develop a Forward Look, a Research Networking Programme or a EUROCORES proposal; publication of a Policy Briefing…) or for submission to the EU 7th Framework Programme or to other European or international funding organisations.

European Science Foundation
1 quai Lezay Marnésia BP 90015 67080 Strasbourg Cedex France Fax: +33 (0)3 88 37 05 32 http://www.esf.org

ESF Exploratory Workshops:
Farzam Ranjbaran
Scientific Coordinator

Valerie Allspach-Kiechel
Senior Administrator Tel: +33 (0)3 88 76 71 36

Isabelle May
Administrator Tel: +33 (0)3 88 76 71 46 Email: ew-office@esf.org http://www.esf.org/workshops

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

Convenor:
Professor Krista Cowman kcowman@lincoln.ac.uk Department of Humanities University of Lincoln MHT Building Brayford Pool Lincoln LN6 7TS UK

Co-convenor:
Dr Jirina Smejkalova jsmejkalova@lincoln.ac.uk Centre for European Cultural Studies University of Lincoln MHT Building Brayford Pool Lincoln LN6 7TS UK

Main Objectives of the Workshop:
The workshop seeks to investigate how previous generations of European feminists have engaged with the history of their own movement as a means of constructing a gendered political identity for women, and how such engagement continues to the present day. th Historicising ongoing feminist work was a key part of 19 Century feminist campaigns throughout Europe. Before the First World War, national feminist movements had often collaborated in the creation of collective histories which were attentive to the work of other feminist organisations beyond the borders of the nation state. This was fractured during the Cold War leading to significant discontinuities in the production and dissemination of such histories which progressed at markedly different rates. The workshop aims to explore how an integrated, trans-national history of Feminism may be regained in the Post-Cold-War era.

The Case For An Exploratory Workshop
Background The workshop seeks to explore how previous generations of European feminists have engaged with the history of their own movement as a means of constructing a gendered political identity for women and how such engagement continues in the present day. By the th end of the 19 Century the „Woman Question‟, the debate about women‟s roles, had precipitated the formation of numerous autonomous women‟s organisations across Europe. Although these groups were largely situated within national boundaries these were frequently transcended, as feminists across Europe united to organise international campaigns and to learn from each others‟ strategies, developing a common, feminist approach to political work. One strategy which emerged quite quickly was a pattern of historicising ongoing feminist work, placing women‟s contemporary activism in the context of previous campaigns. Historical precedents began to be sought and shared amongst feminists as a means of legitimizing their current demands. European feminist presentations of history took many forms. Books, pamphlets and articles were joined by cultural artefacts, banners, badges and sashes, and by manifestations such as pageants and tableaux. Separately and collectively these historical presentations countered arguments that women‟s engagement with the

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

public or political world was unusual or exceptional by situating such engagement within a longer tradition. Although it necessarily engaged with the past, this feminist history was not static. Rather, it represented a dynamic and ongoing process. The first examples in this new historical narrative were figures such as Christine de Pizan, or biblical heroines. Their achievements were soon presented alongside important milestones in individual countries such as the UK Married Women‟s Property Act of 1870 or the granting of parliamentary votes in Finland in 1906 which collectively expanded feminists‟ narrative of their own past. The achievements of the movement‟s contemporary leaders became celebrated in biographical pamphlets whilst their images were marketed as postcards, raising awareness of the extent of the movement and of its demands and concerns whilst simultaneously guarding against any future historical marginalisation of these. Hence the identification – and extension - of this historic tradition represented more than a purely intellectual exercise, but became in itself an essential part of feminist activity, a means of shaping a gendered political identity in the present day. Historical representation continued as this „first wave‟ of feminism itself passed into history after the First World War. As well as recovering significant individual women as historical subjects the project had by now expanded to record key events and activities undertaken by movements and organisations. Newer forms of commemoration were initiated. Statues and plaques marked out key individuals or sites in the history of feminism whilst newspapers and television celebrated anniversaries including International Women‟s Day. Museums and heritage purveyors addressed the issue, often concentrating on the anniversaries identified by new histories of feminism (the granting of national parliamentary franchises) or on events which lent themselves to a gendered presentation (such as women‟s participation in war, resistance or revolution). However, this did not progress uniformly throughout the century or across Europe. Before the First World War, national feminist movements had often collaborated in the creation of collective histories with frequent references to developments beyond the borders of the nation state. The international women‟s peace movement facilitated the continuity of such contacts between 1914 – 1918 and continued to be influential up to 1939. The Cold War division of Europe resulted in significant discontinuities in the development of European feminism and the supplementation of a European-wide articulation of gender identity into more nationally-specific examples. In the West, a period of less obvious activity gave way to an identifiable resurgence in interest in feminist history which accompanied the rise of the so-called „second wave‟ of feminism from the late 1960s. In tandem with an expansion in access to tertiary education for women, „Women‟s History‟ became a visible part of University curricula in many Western European countries. Individual archives and libraries were established or expanded to retain feminist records, often forming the basis of national collections (eg the UK‟s Women‟s Library, the Bibliothèque Marguerite Durand in Paris or the IIAV in the Netherlands). Beyond the academy feminist activists continued to seek to create and maintain their movement‟s history. In Belgium, a particularly interesting geographical and generational transfer occurred in the “Mad Minas”, a group of th Flemish feminists who appropriated the name of the radical 19 century Dutch feminist Wilhelmina Drucker situating their activism in a historic context. Eastern European countries followed a different trajectory, much of which still remains unexplored and unwritten. Consequently several have recently hosted major „recovery‟ projects which have begun to equalise European feminism‟s knowledge of its own past. These projects have not, as yet, been integrated into narratives of the history of European feminism produced in the West.

Exploratory/innovative character The workshop will be the first time that feminist historians from across Europe have met to engage directly with the history of their own movement. Previous opportunities to address aspects of this question have been limited chronologically or geographically and none have considered the dimension of historical production as a form of feminist political activism. Within Western Europe, scholars have noted periods of proliferation in feminism‟s creation of

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

its own past, identifying peaks which co-incide with the chronologies of feminism‟s „wave‟ metaphor (c.1890 – 1920 and c.1960 – 1980). A further, ongoing peak can be seen at the present time in post-Cold-War feminist historiography. To date the relationship between feminist activism and history has been considered only as a one-way process through which movements provoked the creation of histories. The workshop proposes to interrogate the more fluid dynamics of this relationship questioning also the impact that the development and spread of historical knowledge might have on the shape and form of contemporary activism. To facilitate this, participants have been selected with expertise in the history of feminism across a broad geographical and chronological range. This will enable investigation into the uses European feminists have made of history both in earlier and more recent phases of their campaigns. The workshop is innovative in its consideration of the recovery, production and promotion of historical research as a site of political activism in itself. Thus it also seeks to explore the origins, nature and extent of divisions between the status of feminist history as activism and feminist history within the academy. Whilst each of the participants has significant historical expertise in the history of European feminism, most also possess simultaneous experience as activists within the feminist movement. The workshop will encourage reflection on this experience as a key part of its process. In order to encourage broad exploration of this theme, the workshop participants will be invited to utilise different methodological approaches to the subject. These will include auto/biographical perspectives as well as exploring the findings of appropriate recent oral history projects, sometimes situated within a sociological framework, and often based in community rather than academic locations. Many of the participants have experience of working within the context of women‟s or gender studies or in social science research units and are thus familiar with inter-disciplinary approaches. These approaches are less common within historical research, particularly in the field of political history. The workshop will thus open up new approaches to this field.

Justification for European-scale Collaboration A further innovation of the workshop will be its attempt to progress the history of European feminism beyond boundaries imposed quite recently (in historic terms). Following the onset of the Cold War, existing research into aspects of the history of European feminism has largely replicated national geographical boundaries, placing movements in isolation. Cross-cultural, trans-national comparisons remain less frequent, and those which are attempted rarely go beyond either the far-ranging overview or the format of a comparison between two or three countries. This cuts directly across the European dimensions of the subject of such enquiries, a dimension particularly apparent between c.1860 – 1920 when women worked collectively over national boundaries, prioritising such networks above connections with mixed-gender political organisations and situating their own women‟s organisations within them. An exploratory workshop on a European scale will thus progress beyond the state-ofthe-art in the current historiography of European feminism by opening up dialogue between historians to enable comparative, trans-national consideration of the main research questions. The periodization of the history of European feminism also benefits from collaborative study on a European scale. Feminists and historians from Western Europe are familiar with the „wave‟ metaphor referred to above which describes the two peaks of organized and th th collaborative activity by women in the late 19 and early 20 centuries and again from the 1960s. For Eastern European feminism this metaphor is considered less appropriate with the notion of a „second wave‟ being contentious. In most Eastern European countries, communist governments engaged in the systematic suppression of any independent civil movement, and feminist organisations were no exception to this. However, some commentators have noted overlap between certain of the projects pursued by post-Cold-War feminists in Eastern Europe and those associated with the Western „second wave‟, particularly in historically-focused projects which aim to identify and „recover‟ an earlier

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

generation of Eastern European feminist activists for the historical record. Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the first pioneering East-West feminist interactions were frequently marked by mutual misunderstandings, particularly when patronizing attitudes were considered perceptible amongst some „more advanced‟ Western feminist scholars. Recently, however, there has been a discernable shift in attitudes between both groups making this an ideal moment to initiate a new period of research. Collaborative European investigation and dialogue will make it possible to interrogate, via the notion of „first‟ and „second‟ wave feminism and the consideration of the possibility of a „third‟ wave, the way in which individuals construct chronologies to situate themselves in particular national and international contexts.

Expected Outcomes
Consideration of the relationship between historical knowledge and memory and present-day activism will have implications beyond the feminist movement. Feminism is not the only European political movement to attempt to connect historical knowledge and present-day trends. Throughout Europe there is currently a resurgence of interest in national history canons as a means of addressing social tensions raised by issues including globalization and immigration, often with controversial results (for example President Sarkozy‟s engagement with the final letter of Guy Moquët). The workshop‟s focus on the linkage between historical knowledge and present practice will initiate informed debate on the „utility‟ of history through offering specific examples from a variety of organisations across Europe. The workshop will allow experts in the history of feminism in particular countries to contextualise their research in a broader European framework. This European focus begins to re-establish international connections fractured during the Cold War. Initial encounters by European feminists with their own history were carried out as a European project. The workshop will encourage future collaboration in this vein, aiming to ensure that the fragmentation of the feminist movement following the Second World War is not unwittingly continued via the modern-day agendas of historical research. The lack of present-day collaborative research into the history of European feminism beyond the divisions imposed by the Cold War, for example, means that „recovery‟ projects in Eastern Europe often fail to impact upon existing narratives produced in the West – and vice versa. Thus it is hoped that the workshop would culminate in establishing a History of European Feminism Research Network which would continue the re-integration of the history of feminism in Europe. Immediate projects for the network to pursue might include:  a trans-national oral history project involving historians of feminism as well as activists beyond the academy who have had involvement in producing feminist history  a re-consideration of existing narratives of European feminist history in the light of current and ongoing research in Eastern Europe  connections between „popular‟ and „academic‟ histories of feminism  further interrogation of the utility of the „wave‟ metaphor for feminism with possible suggestions for a more inclusive, pan-European chronological description.

Report publication and dissemination
The workshop report will be published in hard copy and sent to all participants. It will also be available online via the website, with the link advertised via the online „History of Feminism‟ website. In the shorter term it is anticipated that the workshop will result in a publication comprising full versions of papers revised in the light of discussion and comments during the proceedings. Prior to this, summaries, slides and contact information will be compiled on an open-access workshop website.

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME
Tuesday, 8th September 2009
Afternoon 18.00 – 21.00 Arrival & Hotel Check-in Welcome reception and buffet supper, Vice-Chancellor’s Boardroom, Second Floor, Main Building, University of Lincoln

Wednesday, 9th September 2009
09.10-10.10 Registration followed by Introduction by Convenor (Room MB1104) Professor Krista Cowman (University of Lincoln, UK)

Introduction and Outline of the Workshop: Expectations.
10.10-10.30

Presentation of the European Science Foundation (ESF) Algis Krupavicius (Standing Committee for Social Sciences - SCSS) Coffee / Tea Break (Room MB1003) Morning Session: ‘Recovery and Approaches: European Feminism c. 1890-1920’ (Room MB1104) Professor June Hannam (University of the West of England, UK) Dr Maria Mesner (University of Vienna, Austria)

10.30-11.00 11.00-12.30

12.30-13.30 13.30-16.00

Lunch (Room MB1003) e-mails can be checked next door in MB1004 Afternoon Session (1): ‘Recovery and Approaches: European Feminism c. 1890-1920’ (Room MB1104) Prof. Dr. Angelika Schaser (University of Hamburg, Germany) Dr Magda Gawin (Polish Academy of Science, Poland) Coffee / tea break (Room MB1003) Judit Acsády (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest)

16.30- 19.00

Afternoon Session (2): ‘Progressing Transnational Approaches to Historiography of European Feminism’ (Room MB1104) Dr Karen Offen (Independent Scholar, USA) Dr Anne Cova (University of Lisbon, Portugal) Dr Natascha Vittorelli (University of Vienna, Austria)

19.30

Dinner in local Italian restaurant Ask!

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

Thursday, 10th September 2009
09.00-11.00 Morning Session (1): ‘Feminist History as Feminist Activism’ (Room MB1104) Tiina Kinnunen (University of University of Joensuu, Finland) Sylvie Chaperon (Univesity of Toulouse, France) Pat Thane (Institute of Historical Research, UK) 11.00-11.30 11.30-13.30 Coffee / Tea Break (Room MB1003) Morning Session (2): ‘Periodization and the ‘Wave’ metaphor’ (Room MB1104) Julie Carlier (University of Ghent, Belgium) Olga Shnyrova (Ivanovo State University, Russia) Elisabeth Lønnä (Independent Scholar, Norway) 13.30-14.30 14.30-16.30 Lunch (room MB1003) e-mails can be checked next door in MB1004 Afternoon Session: ‘Oral History Projects and Collecting Activists’ Experiences’ (Room MB1104) Jirina Smejkalova (University of Lincoln, UK) Mieke Aerts (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands) 16.30 – 16:45 16.45 – 18.00 Coffee / tea break (Room MB1003) Approaches and Methodologies Working Groups (Rooms MB1104, MB1003, MB1101 and MB1102) Conference Dinner in local restaurant (Thailand No. 1, Bailgate, Lincoln)

19.30 for 20.00

Friday, 11th September 2009
09.00-10.30 Looking Ahead: Working Groups report: Discussion of Future Projects (Room MB1104) Chair: Jirina Smejkalova (University of Lincoln, UK) 10.30-11.00 11.00-13.00 Coffee / Tea Break (room MB1003) Looking Ahead continued. Network Proposal (Room MB1104) Chair: Krista Cowman (University of Lincoln, UK) 13:00 Lunch and Departure (room MB1003)

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

European Science Foundation Objectives of the ESF Standing Committee for the Humanities (SCH)
The main tasks of the ESF Standing Committee for the Humanities (SCH) are:   to encourage interdisciplinary work through the independent evaluation of collaborative research proposals emanating from the scholarly community; to identify priority research areas and to play an integrative and co-ordinating role by creating links between research communities which in the Humanities are often small and fragmented. to contribute to the development of the ESF science policy agenda and to provide expert advice on science policy actions at the European level in the field of its responsibilities.



The Committee is well aware that the ESF is the only European Agency where the Humanities have a place next to the other sciences and where European projects are reviewed, developed and subsequently operated. The Committee considers it all the more important to be heard as the voice of the Human Sciences in Europe and to continue pleading for a more prominent place for the Humanities in the European landscape.

ESF Humanities Unit:
Nina Kancewicz-Hofman
Head of Unit

Irma Vogel
Senior Administrator

Arianna Ciula
Science Officer

Marie Suchanova
Administrator Tel: +33 (0)3 88 76 71 83 Email: humanities@esf.org http://www.esf.org/human

ESF SCH/SCSS Exploratory Workshop:

European Feminism's Engagement With Its Own Past: The Utility Of Historical Narratives In Constructing Gender-Based Identities
Lincoln (UK), 8-11 September 2009

European Science Foundation Objectives of the ESF Standing Committee for Social Sciences (SCSS)

The mission of the ESF Standing Committee for Social Sciences (SCSS) is as follows:  to promote high quality social science research at the European level;  to bring 'added value' to nationally funded research through European collaboration between ESF Member Organisations;  to help support innovative research ideas and approaches emanating from the scientific community, and  to play an institutional role in strengthening European social science research infrastructure.

ESF Social Sciences Unit
(Contacts for general and Exploratory Workshops-related matters):
Balázs Kiss
Head of Unit

Rhona Heywood
Senior Administrator

Frank Kuhn
Science Officer

Céline Ottenwelter
Administrator Tel: +33 (0)3.88.76.71.42 Email: cottenwelter@esf.org http://www.esf.org/social


				
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