Women Editors in Europe, 1710-1920

an International Conference from 28-29 May 2019, at Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Research on women’s contributions to the periodical press often focuses on women’s periodicals, considering them as separate “feminized” spaces devoted to the interests of particular circles of female readers. This conference takes a different approach. Focusing on women editors rather than women’s periodicals, it explores how periodical editorship enabled women to create public voices, participate in public debate and act as agents of change far beyond their immediate sphere of influence. As part of the European Research Council funded project “Agents of Change: Women Editors and Socio-Cultural Transformation in Europe, 1710-1920,” we invite papers on a wide variety of topics related to female periodical editorship in Europe in the broadest historical sense of the word (not just the current European Union) from the early eighteenth to the early twentieth century.

Topics may include

  • Women editors as makers of culture or arbiters of taste
  • Women editors as advocates of social change
  • Women editors as proponents of women’s rights
  • Women editors as mediators (e.g. transnational or cross-cultural)
  • Women’s editorial identities & strategies
  • Female editorship and/as authorship
  • Male editors adopting female editorial personae
  • Women taking on multiple roles as editors, authors, publishers, translators, salon hostesses, activists etc.
  • Women editing behind the scenes as subeditors, assistants, editors’ wives etc. or influencing (male) editors in their own creative ways
  • Women editors’ networks
  • Digital periodical studies focusing on women editors and their periodicals
  • Gendered approaches to theories of editorship

We invite case studies of individual editors as well as comparative, theoretical or methodological approaches. We are particularly interested in papers examining women’s editorship across chronological or language boundaries.

The working language of the conference is English. We welcome proposals from researchers at all stages of their careers.

Proposals of around 250 words (references not included) for 20-minute papers and a short CV (no more than 200 words) should be sent to wechanged@ugent.be by 15 November 2018. We also welcome proposals for joint panels of three papers. Please include a brief rationale for the panel along with an abstract and CV for each presenter.