Call for Papers
Women and Gender in Colonial Contexts
19-21 January 2012
Université Paris-1 Panthéon Sorbonne (Cemaf et Centre d??Histoire du XIXe
siècle), Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon (LARHRA), New York University
For decades, colonizing was perceived and analysed as a masculine
undertaking. This is probably why historians of colonisation (and decolonisation) ?? who
themselves were mostly men ?? paid little attention to the study of women, of gender
relations, or of how gender identities and sexualities were constructed in colonial contexts.
Women were seen as negligible actors in colonial wars (both during or
after the conquest), even though they were important actors within and victims of
Moreover, as primary agents of the European ??civilising mission??, whose
alleged principles were to ??educate, cure, moralise and convert??, women ?? both
colonisers and the colonized ?? took part in the process of national assertion and of
Last but not least, the colonial process created ?? and was constantly
reshaped by ?? tensions as well as new forms of racial or social hierarchies and gender
roles. Thus, the ??colonial making of gender?? proved to be a powerful vector of social
transformation, both in metropoles and in colonies, as recent stimulating historical research
The International conference on ??Women and Gender in Colonial Contexts??
seeks to assess the current state of historical research on this subject in a
longue durée perspective, i.-e. from the late 18th-early 19th centuries to the
decolonisations of Asia, Africa, and the South Sea Islands (second half of the 20th century).
Participants are welcome to present research focusing on specific colonial contexts, both
in terms of time and space. At the same time, studies of women??s experiences or of gender
construction through a comparative perspective ?? between colonies or Empires ?? is
strongly encouraged, as it will allow a better understanding of local versus global
The Conference will also offer a significant opportunity to explore new
sources, new approaches and new historiographical trends (notably through the
combination of various epistemological tendencies such as micro-history, social history,
subaltern studies, post-colonial studies or gender studies), in order to show the
vitality of this field of research.
The organisers encourage scholars to submit papers that investigate, within the
framework drawn up by the Conference title, relevant aspects of the following : politics
and policies, work, religion, education, health, family, mobilities, sexualities,
body/bodies, war, slavery, violence, masculinities??
Proposals in French or English (300 words) should be sent by June 15,
2010, to :
christelle dot taraud at wanadoo dot fr
Please attach a short CV stating your institutional affiliation.