Disruptions and continuities in gender roles and authority, 1450-1750
Portsmouth (29-30 juin 2020), avant le 24 avril 2020

An interdisciplinary conference, University of Pourtsmouth

Keynote speaker: Professor Ann Hughes, Keele University

Numerous sixteenth and seventeenth-century treatises and conduct books promoted patriarchal ideals of female submissiveness and male domination. But in recent years, scholars have begun to question whether the stereotypical image of early modern women as ‘chaste, silent, and obedient’ before the unquestioned male authority figure ever quite tallied with actual experience, with men’s patriarchal authority depicted as hard-fought and contingent in other types of sources and spirited or ‘masculine’ women objects of ambivalent interest. Equally in question is whether we should conceive of the early modern period as a continuum in terms of gender roles, or emphasise the destabilising effect of events like the English Civil War or other conflicts in challenging and disrupting them, whether temporarily or as a driver of more permanent social change. The aim of this conference is act as an interdisciplinary forum for consideration of the arguments surrounding such issues.

This interdisciplinary conference is open to scholars at all academic stages, postgraduate to professor and of different disciplines, including history, literature and art history. Delegates are invited to submit abstracts for individual papers or panels on aspects of this theme, including but not restricted to:

  • Changes and continuities in gender roles in Britain, Europe and the Atlantic World
  • Disruptions to gender roles prompted by war or violence
  • Literary and artistic representations and uses of gender
  • The role of particular individuals in resistance to gender roles or as agents for change in their conception
  • Dress and cross-dressing in relation to gender
  • Medical and other contemporary theories of gender
  • Gender and crime
  • Gender and celebrity

The intention is that papers based on conference presentations may be submitted towards a special issue on this theme in the journal Women’s History review.
Please submit proposals of 250-300 words for papers of no more than 20 minutes to Dr Fiona McCall, Senior Lecturer in History, School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature, University of Portsmouth at fiona.mccall@port.ac.uk by Friday 24 April 2020