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Appel à Communications: Women and Labour Activism in a Transnational Context

Appel à Communications: Women and Labour Activism in a Transnational Context

International Symposium

Newcastle University, 15-16 April 2016

In her 2014 work, Writing History in the Global Era, Lynn Hunt asks if globalization really is the new theory that will invigorate history. Since ‘the global turn’ it remains to be seen if more opportunities have been created to explore ways of including women in political, social and cultural history and in particular that of Labour history.

In order to investigate the impact of transnationalism on the visibility of women’s activism in the past, Claudia Baldoli and Máire Cross would like to invite proposals for research papers to be presented in an international conference that will bring together research groups of the North east including North East Labour History, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities Labour and Society Research Group, Newcastle University Gender Research Group.

Transnational approaches to the history of women in labour activism:

From Mary Wollstonecraft to 2014 Nobel Peace winner Malala Yousafzai: this two-day conference aims to discuss the effect of transnational approaches and the current polemical issues of the field, and to promote findings in new research on women’s engagement from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century, from individual to collective movements, in specific revolutionary moments and over several generations, in local and international associations, in particular where Labour activism intersects with other political, religious and cultural aspects of women’s activism.


Possible topics include: Women and strikes; Women in political movements, trades unions and NGOs; Women and political violence; Relationship between different generations of women activists; Pacifist women; Women involved in resistance movements; Women activists in exile; Biographical approaches to women activists; Political transitions in a life time of activism (for example in relation to peace and war, internationalism and nationalism, socialism and fascism, anti-colonialism and independence); Women activists in religious-social movements; Images of Women and Labour in cultural production; Women activists as writers, film makers, reporters.

We are interested in women’s roles as both political activists and intellectuals across borders and generations; on women’s biographies, both of lone women activists and of collective groups, of key figures as well as obscure ones, and on the role of biographies in establishing activist women’s reputations. We also welcome reflections on the methodology of activism and on problems inherent to the use of archives. We are keen to include researchers at all stages of their career. There may be limited funding to assist postgraduates whose papers are accepted.

Our invited keynote speaker is Susan Zimmermann, University Professor, Central European University, Budapest, specialist of international gender politics, labour women’s transnational activism, women’s work, and the ILO (

Please submit a 200 word proposal and CV by 31 January 2015 to:

EITHER Dr Claudia Baldoli, Senior Lecturer in European History,

OR Professor Máire Cross, Head of French,

Katie Jarvis

Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. Je suis maître de conférences en histoire à l'University of Notre Dame. Mes recherches portent sur des marchandes parisiennes qui s’appellent les Dames des Halles pendant la Révolution française. En les utilisant comme un prisme, je demande comment les révolutionnaires ont négocié la double croissance des aspirations démocratiques et le capitalisme à travers leur métier quotidien. J’examine la façon dont les Dames ont inventé une notion de citoyenneté naissante qui a eu le travail, plutôt que le sexe, comme la base. En même temps, j'analyse comment les révolutionnaires ont débattu le rôle politique des classes populaires par les marchandes en détail. La nation française - et une grande partie de l'Europe – s’accapareraient dans ces problèmes pour des décennies.

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