Gender in Global and Transnational History

Workshop: Gender in Global and Transnational History

University of Basel
Vom - Bis
03.06.2021 - 04.06.2021
Ruth Ennis, Kulturwissenschaften, Universität Leipzig

A two day workshop for doctoral students will take place on the 3rd and 4th of June 2021. The workshop is intended to map out the intersections and crossovers between Gender History and Transnational and Global History, by taking a collective look at participants research projects. With the aim of engaging with the debates and approaches trying to bring these fields into fruitful conversation, an open format for discussion will be created, alongside having experts invited to comment on papers.

Workshop: Gender in Global and Transnational History

Transnational and global history have become intriguing fields of research for young historians. Dissolving the containers of national history writing to look at transnational networks, cross-border movements or spatialisation processes, long-standing assumptions in historical research are being constantly challenged by innovative doctoral projects which look for connections and transfers rather than reinforcing nation-state containers. At the same time, historians such as Angelika Epple and Christoph Dejung ask the highly valid question, “was it a man’s world?”, when it comes to the failure of this critical and ever-growing field to include the achievements of women’s and gender history into the research scope of global and transnational history. With the aim of bringing the multiple debates and approaches from the two fields into a fruitful conversation, we are interested in addressing the following questions:

1. Methodological and theoretical questions: How to conceptualize Gender and Women’s history in relation to Global, transnational and entangled history? What does it mean to integrate a gendered perspective into work on global and transnational history, or when applying a global and transnational perspective to a question related to gender? How do we integrate critical thinking from these fields whilst avoiding anachronism in our use of categories, or is this at all necessary?
2. Construction of categories of difference: How were categories of difference (i.e. Gender, Race, Sexual Identity, Class, Religion, Ethnicity, Nationality etc.) defined, policed, negotiated in different times and periods? How did they intersect with each other in different contexts?
3. Re(construction) of Gender Roles in Global Religions, Spiritualism and Traditional Medicine: How have unequal power relations inherent in religious activities shaped gendered institutions, structures and participation? How have cosmological and mythological accounts in various global communities, whether from pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial contexts, been reflective of cultural fluidity? How has the foundational role of gender influenced the histories of cultural worship, ancestral identity, ritualism and spiritual therapies?
4. Breaking the Silence in the Archives: How do we deal with the silence of so many missing voices in the archives? What strategies are in place to read against the grain, thus making it possible to give voice to those which are officially inaudible? How do archives function as an instrument of power and how have “counter-archives” and archives of social movements challenged this power by contributing to the historiography?

In reflection of the challenges, ideas and debates already at play, we would like to invite doctoral students to a workshop in which we collectively take a critical look at gender and women’s history through the lens of global and transnational history.

Doctoral students are invited to submit a 250-350 word paper proposal along with a short bio by the 15th of January 2021 to We welcome proposals focused on all world regions and are particularly interested in empirically based research.

We have secured some funding for travel and accommodation. Please indicate in your application where you will be travelling from, if you would be able to cover part or all of your travel costs. The workshop will be held in English.

General Information
Dates: 3rd and 4th of June 2021
Venue: University of Basel should the COVID situation allow, otherwise the event will be online
Organisers: Ruth Ennis (Uni Leipzig), Tolulope Esther Fadeyi (Uni Basel), Laura Frey (Uni Basel)

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