Women's Dimensions of the Past: Perceptions, Experiences, Representations

Women's Dimensions of the Past: Perceptions, Experiences, Representations

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May 2020

Center for Urban History, Lviv

Ukrainian Association of Women’s History Researchers and the Center for Urban History with the support from the Heinrich Böll Foundation invite you to participate in an International Conference "Women's Dimensions of the Past: Perceptions, Experiences, Representations" to commemorate the 10th anniversary of UAFHR
Lviv, May 2020

Women have at all times made half of mankind, at least. However, their historical experience is hardly reflected in chronicles or archives. Little do we know of women from most monographs or history textbooks. Global and national histories only present women who managed to get their name in the standard narrative, through success in a certain “masculine area” (primarily, in politics, military affairs, religion or education). However, does this absence mean that women were not making history, but only passively living it? Or, perhaps, they were simply acting in different ways, less notable, but in no way less significant for social progress.

The history of Ukraine in recent times is rich in dramatic events that have crucially impacted entire generations: governments and regimes rose and fell; laws and borders changed; bloody warfare and revolutions raged; huge masses of people resettled, both voluntarily and forcefully; cities were constructed and villages destroyed; Ukrainian education and culture experienced boom and repression; citizens gained and lost rights, they fought against regimes, and collaborated with them. Women, in many ways, have been involved in all these historical processes within Ukraine, whether political, military, cultural, economic, migration, research and education. Nevertheless, their engagement and their roles remain little known.
What do we know about the actual historical experience of real women in the whirlwind of various historic events? How do we see the female past in times of historical turbulence and in times of relative peace? How are women’s experiences represented in literature, art, and cinema? How have Ukrainian women changed under the impact of developments in which they participated, or which they simply witnessed? Which sources could tell us about the life and activities of women in the fullest and most verifiable manner? What can the knowledge of women’s history offer for a better understanding of contemporary processes in Ukraine today?

The 10th anniversary of activities of the Ukrainian Association of Women’s History Researchers established in October 2010, in Lviv will offer a unique opportunity to discuss the status of research in women’s history in Ukraine, to review the developments and identify challenges of studying women’s experiences in the history of Ukraine, to join our efforts and reflect on the prospects in this area and its role in modernizing Ukrainian historical research.

The international conference invites applicants who explore women’s history and gender history, as well as experts from other fields of social humanities with a clear historical dimension to their research, and a focus on gender aspects of different fields and phenomena, including but not limited to the following topics:

  • Women’s Everyday Life: Subcultures, Practices, Experiences
  • Gendered Spaces: City, Town, Village, Home\
  • Women and Generation of Knowledge: Education, Science, Expertise
  • Women and Power: Leadership, Politics, Self-Government
  • Woman in Wars and Revolutions: Violence, Resistance, Survival
  • Women’s Rights: Organized Women’s Movements, Feminist Practices, Grass-Roots Activism
  • Gendered Nations: National Dimensions of Women’s Experience and Action
  • Women in Expert Milieus: Gender and Labor
  • Women Between Tradition and Innovation
  • Women and Religion: Images, Statuses, Roles, Practices
  • Women’s Stories of Otherness: Beyond Normality
  • Women’s “Voices” of the Past: Sources to Study Women’s History
  • Women’s Images of the Past: Cultural Representations of Women’s Experience (Literature, Visual Art, Film, Museum)
  • Women in Transnational and Trans-imperial Dimensions: Gender Aspects of Migrations
  • Through Men’s Eyes: Women in Official and Ego-Documents

Preferences will be given to presentations intending to pose and consider broader issues in women’s history based on specific historical material, offering a critical review of established historical views and evaluations through the lens of gender, conceptualization and theoretical generalization, on the basis of the analysis of relevant historical sources, with elements of cross-cultural studies that show the novelty of approaches or relate to understudied topics. We welcome the research relevant in terms of modern developments and discussions in academia and in society.

In designing the agenda, the Organizers will not adhere to the chronological and thematic principle in favor of a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach. We do encourage applicants to go beyond descriptive and fractographic reports, as well we specialized research that would be interesting and understandable only for a limited circle of experts in the area.

We encourage the applications from undergraduate students, Master students, and postgraduates, with the research focus on women’s/gender history.

Working language of the conference - Ukrainian.

Please, submit the applications to the address of the Organizing Committee at uarwh2010@gmail.com by June, 15, 2020

Selected speakers shall submit full texts of their presentations, 5-7 pages long, by September 15, 2020, to Organizers (to be sent for discussants to acquaint themselves to facilitate discussion at the conference). Final Conference Program and official invitations will be sent out by September 25, 2020.

Application form to participate in the conference shall include the following details:

  • Information about the speaker: full name, academic degree, specialization (discipline – for instance, history of Ukraine, ethnology, sociology, etc.), place of employment or study, position/status, key research interests, preferably – list of 2 to 3 research publications in the field of women’s/gender history (if available). Any additional information (such as links to personal webpages) is welcome.
  • The topic of presentation – formulated in a concise and clear style
  • Abstract – 300-400 words max., which clearly states the object of research, key research question, a brief description of a conceptual framework, timeline, and geographic boundaries, sources of research, and methods of their analysis, and key outcomes and conclusions.

In the future, we plan to compile a collection of essays on the basis of conference materials. The selection of texts for the publication will be exercised separately, upon completion of the conference.

June 15, 2020 – deadline for applications (information about the speaker, topic, and abstract)
July 15, 2020 – decision of the Organizing Committee on selecting the conference program
September 15, 2020 – submission of the presentation text (5-7 pages) to the Organizing Committee
September 25, 2020 – finalizing the Conference program and sending invitations to participants
Invited speakers from Ukraine will be provided with accommodation and catering during the conference and (partial) reimbursement of travel costs.

Organizing Committee:
Oksana Kis, Doctor of History, President UAWHR
Sofia Dyak, PhD, Director of the Center for Urban History
Olena Stiazhkina, Doctor of History, senior research fellow at the Institute of the History of Ukraine, NAS of Ukraine
Maryana Baydak, Candidate of History, research fellow at the Institute of Ethnography, NAS of Ukraine
Kateryna Kobchenko, Candidate of History, senior research fellow at the Center of Ukrainian Studies, Faculty of Philosophy, Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University
Ivanna Cherchovych, Candidate of History, independent researcher

Logistics and Communication:
Maryana Mazurak, Viktoriia Panas, Iryna Paslas


Image: Woman on Sapieha street (Stepana Bandery street now). Collection: Oleksandr Moskalenko // Urban Media Archive

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