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Call for papers for the conference “Gender and the State. 100 years of the fight for equality in Central-Eastern Europe” organized by The Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences.


Warsaw, November 27-29, 2018.


The decree of the Head of State and Prime Minister granting full voting rights to all Polish citizens “without regard to sex” issued in November 1918, was a milestone in the development of civic equality.
The hundredth anniversary of the introduction of these revolutionary laws, which falls in November 2018 in many European countries, is cause for reflection on the scope and character of equal rights over the course of this relatively long period, methods used in the fight for the equal political and legal position of women, as well as the role of state institutions and national and ethnic communities in these processes.

The goal of the conference is to take stock of the political, social and cultural changes that have been the result of the equal rights movement in Poland and Europe. We also seek to reflect on women’s struggle for recognition, their role as citizens and the dynamics of processes of citizen-forming. The place of the political rights they have won in the further struggle for the improvement of women’s place in society should also be considered.
One hundred years of women’s fight for recognition is at the centre of our interests. The events of November 1918 are a starting point for the search for new perspectives and interpretations of the history of women’s emancipation and equality as well as the place of women in relations between the state and society. We are also seeking new approaches to well-known subject matter and would like to restore the memory of women engaged in political and social movements in the last century. We propose the following areas of historical reflection:

  1. The history of the concepts of emancipation, equal rights, citizenship and others in various historical times and contexts.
  2. Institutions and laws regulating women’s access to public space. Legal regulations at the constitutional and statutory level as well as common law.
  3. gender-nation relations and nationality issues connected with the rise of nation states and the character in which women participated in political independence events.
  4. The influence of the World Wars on the progress and development of equal rights, concepts and practices and the dynamics of the fight for equality.
  5. The transnational and international context of women’s rights activity in networks and organisations.
  6. The medialisation of the history of the struggle for recognition in a Polish and international context and the presence of these motives in film and visual arts of the last century.
  7. Contemporary “re-inventing” of the history of feminism and the women’s rights movement, and references to their achievements in political, affirmative, etc. narratives.


The conference particularly welcomes presentation proposals from persons working on PhD or postdoctoral projects. Proposals of up to 3000 characters, in Polish or English, along with a brief information about the author, should be submitted by January 31, 2018 to Information on proposal acceptance will be sent at the end of February.

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