Recovering Women's Identities between Centre and Periphery

Event Date: 
05 Mar 2020 to 06 Mar 2020

Senate House, Malet Street, London,


This two-day conference aims to recover and put across the voices of women across Europe who defied the existing order and the rules of society. It intends to recover the forgotten voices and experiences of these women, who might not have had a prominent role in their world during their lifetimes, but, nevertheless, contributed to shape our present. For centuries, concepts such as infirmitas, imbecillitas and levitas were considered key characteristics of women. Therefore, the construction of the identities of both women and men was framed by the dichotomy between the private and the public sphere, and by the opposition between obedience, a woman’s virtue, and command, the prerogative of men. Beyond the conceptualisation and idealisation of the female sex, however, a close investigation of everyday realities questions this long-standing, stereotyped notion of women, uncovering a different scenario, including women who did not passively accept their status. In a static, hierarchical, male-dominated society, some of these women reacted against the constraints imposed upon them and challenged their family, their society, their worlds. Theirs were small, but powerful acts of resistance against and disruption of the status quo. Proposals for 20-minute papers should be submitted to Dr Sara Delmedico (sd683@cam.ac.uk) by 30 November 2019, and should contain: name, email, title of paper, abstract (max 300 words) and a short bio.

Submission date for papers: 
30 Nov 2019