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Einladung – Konferenz: Gendering Historiography, 07.-11.11.2007, Hamburg

International Conference: Gendering Historiography

Prof. Dr. A. Schaser
Dr. A. Epple, Hamburg

Zeit: 07.-11.2007
Ort: Aby Warburg Haus, Hamburg
Deadline for Registration: 15.09.2007

All major sub-disciplines of history – one thinks of classical social history, political history or economic history – have not merely undergone methodological innovations, but as a consequence of this renewal have also come to define their object of study differently. The history of historiography, however, which likes to portray itself as a theoretically ambitious sub-discipline, is still hacking away at the same old canonical subject: the writings of established historians. At most, more attention may be paid to outsiders or – as in the transnational perspective – to interactive processes. Unfamiliar texts, forgotten individuals, alternative forms of historical representation, or mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion, however, go largely unnoticed.

We believe it is about time that we took a closer look at the traditional historiographical canon, the dividing line between scholarly and non-scholarly historical writing, and the biographies of historians, with a focus on the category of gender.

A comparison with other countries quickly reveals that this is possible only on an international – and in some cases certainly also transnational – level. Initial studies have shown that in the nineteenth century in Europe and the United States, women were excluded from the production of (scholarly) historical writing and new constructions of masculinity were negotiated. At the same time, women also disappeared as a topic of historical reflection. These mechanisms of exclusion and inclusion did not proceed in a parallel manner in all countries, however. The borders were defined differently and their permeability varied. The analysis of these boundaries takes us deep inside the discus-sion of the very foundations of our discipline: What is historical truth and who defines the rules governing its validity?

Based on these reflections, „Gendering Historiography“ seems to us a necessary project for the field. The international conference will address the following thematic areas:

The conference will inquire into the constructions of the (nationally) differing canons as well as the establishment of accepted narratives from the perspective of gender history. We will examine the respective dividing lines between academic and non-academic history for their gender-segregating and gender-hierarchical mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. Finally, participants will look at the gender-coded profession of the historian and contrast it with alternative professional careers.

The goal of the conference is to uncover the gender-specific conditions of historiography both within and outside the academy. Intensive readings of the sources are intended to make an expansion of the canon unavoidable, and, if not to break the power of tradition, at least to challenge it critically.

The conference is sponsored by DFG and University of Hamburg

Please send an email for registration until 15 September 2007 to AngelikaAdam[at]


Wednesday, 7 Nov 2007

Aby Warburg Haus, Hamburg

Registration, Tea/Coffee

18.00 – 19.00

Evening Lecture: Bonnie Smith: Gendering Historiography in the Global Age

Conference Dinner

Thursday, 8 Nov 2007

9.00 – 12.30

Panel 1:
Gendering the (National) Canon of Historiography
Chair: Karin Hausen, Berlin
Introduction: Angelika Schaser, Hamburg

Maria Grever, Rotterdam: Fear of plurality? Academic Historiography and the National Canon

Irma Sulkunen, Tampere: Biography, Gender and Deconstruction of a National Canon

Marc Pyka, Dublin, Heinrich Graetz and the Creation of a „Muscular Jewry“ as the Essence of Judaism

Commentary: Benedikt Stuchtey, London


14.00 – 17.30

Panel 2: Dividing Lines between the Traditional Canon and Excluded Histories
Chair: Jürgen Martschukat, Erfurt: Introduction:

Angelika Epple, Hamburg; Ulrike Gleixner, Wolfenbüttel: Gendering Tradition. Rewriting the Histo¬ry of Pietism, 1780-1880

Rajah Scheepers, Berlin: Gendering Church Historiography – a Roundabout Way

Ruth Barzilai-Lumbroso, Raanana/ Los Angeles: Turkish Men, Ottoman Women: Popular Turkish Historians and the Writing of Ottoman Women’s History

Commentary: Sylvia Paletschek, Freiburg

18.00 – 19.00

Evening Lecture: Gisela Bock Multiple Histories: Changing Perspectives on Women and Gender since the

Friday, 9 Nov 2007

9.00 – 12.00

Panel 3:
The Gender-coded Profession of the Historian and Alternative Professional Careers
Chair: Sylvia Schraut, München

Heike Berger, Bielefeld: Tapping Resources – Setting Boundaries. Female and Male Historians during National Socialism

Tiina Kinnunen, Joensuu: Feminist Uses of History: Ellen Key and Alexandra Gripenberg as Historical Writers

Maarit Leskelä-Kärki, Turku: Constructing Women’s History in Biographical Writing: Helena Westermarck (1854-1938) as a Biographer

Krista Cowman, Lincoln: There is such a Lot, and it will all be History. Feminist Activists as Historians. The Case of British Suffrage Historiography 1908-2007

Commentary: Martina Kessel, Bielefeld

12.00 – 13.00

Panel Discussion
Chair: Ilaria Porciani, Bologna



Conference closes

Angelika Epple
Universität Hamburg, Historisches Seminar, Von-Melle-Park 6

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