• 10.03.2023
  • 🇫🇷 Frankreich / Toulouse
  • Lisa Castro & Hugo Tardy, FRAMESPA, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès
  • zur Website

Making women’s history Circulation of knowledge around the Baltic Sea from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century

After three study days focusing on the circulation of knowledge around the Baltic Sea from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the 20th century ("Education, pedagogy and training" in 2020, "Culture of power, power of culture" in 2021 and "Places of encounter" in 2022), we are pleased to announce the organization of a fourth edition, the topic of which will be: Making women’s history. We have come a long way since the first university courses on women’s and gender history, and it is more than ever at the heart of current scientific interests. This field of research has been very well received when applied to Nordic studies, as shown by the large number of projects that are being organized. It is in this continuity that we wish, to question the place of women around the Baltic Sea and the way in which we can apprehend, study, and report their history. It seems necessary to carry out this research to deconstruct female figures, from the anonymous to the great names of history, in a space that we limit to the Baltic Sea and the regions that border it.

1) Sources and methods for the history of women around the Baltic Sea
The sources play an essential role in writing the history of women. Whether they specifically mention their presence, or whether they appear in the background, their study is a key step in making this history. " Making women’s history" implies returning to the methodology to be used to construct this history as well as the way to interrogate the sources around this space
of the Baltic, whether they are archaeological, pictorial, or literary. We could discuss the place of women in the sources, their importance, and their strengths: what difference in treatment can we see when it comes to male protagonists? Depending on the case study, can the presence of women be described as undeniable? Have the traces left by women been mobilized or ignored? It is also important to look at the use of these same sources in the historiographic construction of the Baltic Sea

2) A contribution to the construction of a common identity
From the princely figure to the anonymous one, via the fictional heroine, female figures play a role in the construction of a common identity around the Baltic, which we will identify and analyze. Many women have profoundly influenced our perception of life in these regions, feeding and sometimes limiting themselves to fantasies, myths, or clichés (Viking warrior, sailor’s wife, mermaid, etc.), which are deeply rooted in the collective unconscious, particularly through visual culture. Women have thus been the source of particularly persistent stereotypes associated with Baltic cultures. Although attached to this space in the common perception, these stereotypes may have migrated into different contexts. Therefore, by asking the question of women’s history, it will also be a matter of reintegrating them into the "space of possibilities".

3) Women who make history
Whether as actors in history (princely figures: queens, princesses), artists (authors, sculptors, painters, etc.), fictional heroines, or anonymous persons (women and daughters of, working women, seafarers or seafarers‘ wives and mothers, political figures, feminists), women actively participate in the elaboration of a history specific to the Baltic, whether they are at the origin of the history or whether they part in its realization. We propose to examine the process of women’s involvement and participation in history, analyzing how they have taken part in its development and what their place is today in local and international historiography.

4) Women from Story to History
Finally, the role of women in the fields of fiction, folklore, or mythology, leads to an analysis of their place in these narratives as female characters and as characters of narratives. They can be used as allegories illustrating personified concepts, particularly in the construction of national, regional, or local identity. If in the southern European countries Greco-Latin mythology is given pride of place, we can look at the figures favored in the Baltic regions and what media they are used in (oral speeches, paintings, sculptures, medals, heraldry…). Thus, always with the will to fill the historiographical and francophone gaps on the Baltic, this call is addressed to master’s students as well as to more experienced researchers, whose research concerns this space and the regions that compose it (Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden), but also the historical regions (Prussia, Poland-Lithuania…). This list is not exhaustive, however, and we would be delighted to receive proposals for papers that would open new fields of research related to the Baltic. Finally, as this is a transdisciplinary day, we encourage proposals from disciplines other than history and art history (linguistics, literature, civilization, archaeology, anthropology, ethnography, geography, architecture, among others).

We would also like to offer a space for researchers engaged in collective research projects (ANR, colloquia, seminars) or individual research projects (master’s degree positions, thesis projects, post-doctorate projects or publications) to give pride of place to research in the Baltic area and this year to women’s history.

As in previous editions, a publication is planned at the end of the day.

Submission Guidelines
Each proposal must contain a short bio-bibliographical note (name, surname, e-mail address and academic affiliation) and a short abstract of the paper accompanied by a provisional title (max. 1,500 characters including spaces). We accept interventions in French and English. No later than Monday November7th 2022