The 2015 Special Issue of G&H will be on the theme « Men at home » (as heads of families,husbands, partners, fathers, sons, brothers, domestic workers…).
The creation of the Special Issue will be approached via a colloquium to be held at the Universityof Urbino, Italy on 11th-12th April 2014.
In the last two decades, gender historians have increasingly focused on the history of masculinity.Their research has helped deconstruct dichotomies that mirrored long-standing ideologies about theproper place for men and women and considered the public and private spheres as the domains ofmen and women respectively. Several studies have in fact shown that the reality was generallymuch more nuanced than one could imagine in the light of the aforementioned ideologies.
Whereas past studies had emphasized the crucial importance of the changes in civil status, andparticularly of marriage, for women rather than for men, more recent studies have shown that, inpre-industrial times, marriage was crucial for the social status of men, too. These results haveprompted further debate, because the importance of marriage for men was indeed different indifferent contexts: possibly more relevant in Central and Northern Europe and less important inSouthern Europe.
Being (or not being) the head of one?s family seems on the contrary very important everywhere indetermining the status of men, probably because this role, though associated with partially differentrights and duties according to the context, was always an authoritative one. The head of the familynormally belonged both to the domestic and the public spheres; in many contexts he was the onlymember of the household who represented the other components in the public sphere and/orenjoyed political rights.
Thus particular attention should be paid to the importance, for men of different ages, of being in theposition of heads of their families, or in that of children, co-resident relatives or even servants.Further research is needed to conclusively clarify these points and to establish if and which familyroles were fundamental in defining different types of male identities and status in specific social,historical, and geographical contexts.
Law, religion and ethic established rights and duties for the head of the family as well as forchildren, servants and other male members of a household, and were therefore important (thoughnot exclusive) factors in defining these roles: think, for instance, of the long-standing importance(in many parts of Europe) of the definition of paterfamilias given by Roman Law, according to2/3which the head of the family was not necessarily married nor necessarily had children; or of thedifferences between the Catholic communities, with their Pope and clergy bound to celibacy, andthe Protestant ones, where the head of the family played a crucial role in leading and supervisingthe family devotion.
Related issues include the roles of men within the household in such fields as the education ofchildren, the management of family resources, caring and even cooking. While these activitiesare often associated with women, this was/is not always and everywhere the case. Contributing toclarify the boundaries between male and female roles in specific contexts as well as their changeover time is one of the aims of the special issue.
Households were often units of consumption and/or of production. Their economic role wasdifferent according to economic sectors (i.e. agriculture, urban crafts, rural home industry, etc.),class (i.e. different types of peasants, industrial working class, middle class, aristocracy, etc.),periods (i.e. pre-industrial period, industrialization etc.), economic regions (i.e. rural and industrialregions, colonies etc.). However, it was likely to play a major influence in shaping the division oflabour among their members as well as in determining in which way and to which degree the maleones participated in the household economy. Thus a particular attention should be paid to the
analysis of the economic role of households.
Great attention should also be paid to the subjective appraisal of the different roles and to theway in which men may have colluded with or subverted dominant cultural constructions of what itmeant to be a (good) father, husband, son etc. in a given geographical, social, cultural context at agiven time, thus playing a conservative role or, on the contrary, contributing to cultural and socialchange.From this vantage point, the possible importance of personal features such as, for instance,heterosexual or homosexual orientation in conditioning the attitude towards one?s position withinthe household should also be evaluated.
Aim of the colloquium and of the Special Issue
The aim of the colloquium and of the Special Issue is to bring together scholars working onthe history of masculinity in order to highlight on the one hand the roles performed by men athome in different contexts and, on the other, the importance of those roles with regards to thedefinition of different kinds of masculinity in specific social, historical and geographic contexts.Periods of rapid transformation of family arrangements seem to be an especially interesting vantagepoint, as particularly (but not only) in these periods tensions might have arisen between old andnew ideas about the « proper » roles of men (and women) on the one hand and the ?traditional’ oneson the other, and/or between (some) norms and (some) practice.
Proposals focusing on these issues are welcome, particularly if they try to place case studies in awider context or have a comparative approach (over time or space). Gender & History isparticularly interested in producing a multi-disciplinary volume which includes scholarship on awide range of periods, places, and cultures, and in which not only historical, but alsoanthropological and sociological approaches are brought to bear on historical treatments of gender.Thus trans-national comparative studies and work on pre-modern and non-Western cultures areencouraged. Proposals focusing on the contemporary world are welcomed, too, provided that theydeal with the present in a historical perspective.
3/3Papers that, in addition to focusing on particular cases, will contribute to the theoretical thinkingabout masculinity and gender will be especially appreciated. Both papers on specific case-studiesand papers attempting large overviews will be welcomed.
Submission of proposals and schedule
1 January 2013 Scholars and researchers are invited to submit proposals (750 wordsmaximum) by 1 January 2013.
1 March 2013 By 1st March 2013 submitters will be informed if their proposal has beenselected.
1 March 2014 The authors of the selected proposals will be invited to submit a full paper andto attend the colloquium in Urbino; they will be expected to send their paperby 1st March 2014 as a condition of participation.
11-12 April 2014 The colloquium will be held in Urbino on 11th-12th April 2014.G&H asks scholars invited to present their papers to seek funds to cover theirtravel expenses but will contribute as necessary. Accommodation as well asbreakfast and lunch for will be offered by the University of Urbino; G&H
will offer one dinner; participants will fund their own dinners on other nights.
31 Dec 2014 After the colloquium, the editor will select about ten-twelve papers forpublication among those presented in Urbino; the authors of the papersaccepted for publication will receive the comments by the editor and by thereferees and will be expected to submit their revised text by 31st December2014.
March 2014 This will allow the editor to work with the authors to produce the final text of the issue by March 2015 for publication in November 2015.
November 2015 Publication of the Special Issue.
Proposals must be in English and proposers must make sure that they will present their papers inEnglish at the colloquium in Urbino; however, in order to stimulate participation from differentcountries and cultural areas, the papers don’t need to be written in English. Accepted languagesare the following: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Chinese. Incertain circumstances it may be possible to translate articles submitted in languages other thanEnglish and selected for publication in the Special Issue.
Please send paper proposals (with return receipt) to email@example.com by 1 January2013.