Deadline: January 15, 2022
International, interdisciplinary Conference at Philipps-University,f
Marburg/Germany, November 23 to 25, 2022.
Organizer: Interdisciplinary Research Network: Gender. Power
Relations. State (Philipps-University
Marburg, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Herder-Institute for
Historical Research on East Central
Deadline for proposals: January 15, 2022
The conference aims at analyzing configurations of gendered power
relations from the early modern era to the present from an
interdisciplinary perspective. The focus will be on these relations’
transformations and how they have been renegotiated and revisioned
regarding the interwoven analytical levels of medialization, normative
frames, and social practices. Correlations between transformation and
change will be examined as well as formations of traditions and the
development of historicizing narratives employed to legitimize
gendered relations of power, including the justification of state
power through naturalizing gender discourses.
Since the late 15th century, discursive and social practices as well
as media representations of power, sovereignty, and gender can be
observed in relation to contemporary processes of early state
formation, which aim at a specific consolidation and expansion of
hierarchical gender orders. Throughout the centuries, strategies to
legitimize specific power relations have employed above all
historically grown traditions in their argumentation, the powerful
impact of which allegedly shows in the longue durée. An analytical
focus on continuities, however, threatens to obscure historical
ruptures as well as reinterpretations and reframings of earlier media
representations. Inconsistencies and conflicts between norms and
social practices are also likely to fall from view. Therefore, the
interdisciplinary research network »Gender, Power Relations, and the
State« in cooperation with the Center for Gender Studies and Feminist
Future Studies (UMR) and the Center for Media and Interactivity (JLU
Gießen) will host an international and interdisciplinary two-day
conference in Marburg/Germany on November 23-25, 2022, to examine the
power relations at work in the construction, dissemination, and
persistence of such narratives and to analyze their interrelations
with social practices, processes of standardization, and media
Titled »The Emergence of Gendered Power Structures since Early Modern
Times: Practices, Norms, Media«, the conference aims to study the
interdependent web of tensions between gender, power relations, and
the state across centuries. Transformations, renegotiations, and
revisionings in specific configurations of gendered power will be
brought into focus. The intersection of institutionalizations of state
power with naturalizing gender discourses specific to the respective
epochs will be problematized from the angles of manifold disciplinary
approaches to gender studies. In doing so, a progress- and
modernization-oriented master narrative of increasing gender equality
will be confronted with the limitations and closures of a scope of
opportunities and possibilities to women through processes of
formalization and legalization in the course of state formation until
the twenty-first century. Such an interdisciplinary and transepochal
merging and further developing of existing analytical approaches and
perspectives has not yet been attempted. The organizers assume that
such an interdisciplinary and historically profound synopsis along the
analytical levels of social practices, normative frames, and
medializations will bring to light distinct continuities, either in
the form of an ‘invention of tradition’ (Hobsbawm 2019) which
facilitates the legitimization of (transformed) social practices, or
in the form of constructions of continuities on the level of media
representations of gendered power relations.
On November 23, 2022, the conference opens with an evening lecture by
the Alice H. Cook Professor of Sociology and member of the Gender and
Women’s Studies Department, Myra Marx Ferree (University of
Wisconsin/Madison). On November 24 and 25, three sessions of three
panels each are scheduled to respectively highlight the leading
categories of gender, power relations, and state. Each session will
open with one keynote. Helen Watanabe O’Kelly (Oxford), Claudia
Ulbrich (FU Berlin), and Birgit Sauer (Vienna) have already confirmed
We invite proposals from various disciplines from the humanities and
social sciences for 20-minute papers, which look at the intersections
of social practices, normative frames, and medializations at work in
the formation of gendered power structures and their embeddedness in
historically specific dynamics and constellations, with a particular
view on Europe and North America. Papers may focus on one of the
periods set above (e.g., the early modern era or the nineteenth to the
twenty-first centuries) or adopt a transepochal approach.
Intersectional, transcultural, and postcolonial perspectives are
particularly welcome. Proposals might deal with but are not limited to
the following questions:
• How are gender, power, and/or state conceptualized in historically
specific constellations? And how do contemporary theoretical
approaches relate to these conceptions?
• How are gendered power relations represented in literature and art?
• Can tensions and discrepancies (e.g., in the case of female rulers)
be observed between self-fashioning and ascriptions based on
time-specific conceptions of gender?
• How do social and political changes emerge from the interplays of
social practices, normative frames, and media representations?
• Are conceptions of state and statehood explicitly or implicitly
contingent on time-specific knowledge about gender?
• Are revolutions and processes of governmental transformation
accompanied or paralleled by changes in gender relations?
• Can recurrences of early modern configurations of gendered power
relations or their media representations be detected in present
culture, politics, literature, and art?
• Where, in what form, and to what end is the history of gender staged
as a history of progress? How can those narratives be challenged
• How can those gender relations prone to violence be analyzed as
manifestations of cultural habits derived from collective patterns of
thought and behavior?
Please submit a 300-word abstract and a short biographical note to
firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2022. Notifications will be sent by
early February 2022. The conference organizers intend to grant travel
allowances; applications for funding are pending.