Message from our President

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Message from our President

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

You will find in this issue of the Newsletter the Preliminary Program of the Conference of the IFRWH, to be held in Sofia, August 8-11, 2007. As there are still people who are not sure whether they will be able to join us in August, the conference program is still subject to change. We did our best to satisfy all the requirements you had (regarding the time of your presentations, your arrivals/departures, etc.). In order to be able to finalize the program and to have it printed on time, I kindly ask you to make your mind regarding your travel and participation in the conference no later than July 15. After that date we won’t be able to include your names and papers in the final draft of the conference program. We also need to know the exact number of the participants in order to organize the other events within the timeframe of the conference. I hope for your understanding and prompt reaction.

We managed to attract very limited funds from some national and international sponsors which will allow us to give a couple of need-based travel grants. However, the supporting institutions have their own priorities and we could sponsor with these funds only people belonging to certain geographical regions and working on very specific topics. Though we would love to bring all interested colleagues to the conference, we hope you will understand that we are not able to support all people in need.

On the 10th of August there will be a business meeting of all national representatives of the Federation. We are going to discuss various issues: the membership application procedure and the possibility to expand the Federation to new regions and countries; the (amount of the) membership fees, the topic of the

future conference of the Federation to be held in Amsterdam in 2010, the country reports and contributions to the Newsletter, updating the Federation’s webpage, the proposals for common research projects in the future, etc. We expect all interested colleagues to join us on August 10 and help us to design our future steps and joint actions.

I wish you a pleasant and save trip to Sofia and a wonderful experience in our friendly and hospitable country!

Looking forward to meeting you in Bulgaria in August,

Krassimira Daskalova (on behalf of the Sofia Organizing Committee)


Writing Women’s History: International Perspectives:

I am pleased to tell you that our first IFRWH publication, Writing Women's History: International Perspectives, is now available online through the ACLS e-book project.
You can access through <> then going to the title list and index.

Feminist Review 85: Political Hystories

This special issue draws together six essays selected from papers delivered at an international conference held at the University of Wales Swansea in 2003 on the subject 'Hystorical Fictions: Women Writing History', and
additionally includes two interviews with contemporary women writers (Nawal
el Saadawi and Sarah Waters) for whom politics ­ be it of gender, genre, sexuality or globalization ­ is an important element to their work.
The essays consider the nature of private and public, national and international, colonial and post-colonial pasts and histories as they are
and have been written by women novelists, journalists, political activists and autobiographers.

Full Table of Contents and abstracts are available at:

Professor Heilmann's editorial can be viewed for free at:


MATILDA is the first Joint European Master Degree in Women’s and Gender History. Set up as part of the EU Erasmus programme, MATILDA is designed for students wishing to develop expertise in women’s and gender history, as well as in European history, and who are interested in intercultural exchange.

The programme of study is spread over two years, and links five leading European universities in an exciting, innovative and unique venture. The partner institutions are the University of Vienna (coordinating university), the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, the Université Lumière Lyon 2, the

University of Nottingham and the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski.

The MATILDA curriculum includes courses in core subjects in Women´s and Gender History (theory, methodology, and practice) and specialist options covering medieval to modern historical epochs (e.g. “History of Nationalism and Post-/Colonialism”, “History of Masculinities”, “History of Gender in the Sciences”, “Comparative History of Women’s Movements”, “History of Gender, Nation and State”, “Women’s Oral History” and “Gender and Religion”).

MATILDA supports integrative perspectives which go beyond local, regional, and national histories in order to situate these histories, as

well as European history as a whole, in broader contexts. With its focus on comparative, entangled and transnational history, MATILDA aims to:

  • explore the history of gender differences and similarities in European cultures and societies;

  • investigate the role of gender in shaping European history;

  • challenge gender inequalities.

Students can expect to study in at least two different countries over the course of four semesters. There will also be a summer Intensive

Programme during which all students on the course will come together with faculty in order to learn and to strengthen cooperation.

Transparency and comparability will be assured through the European Credit Transfer System and Diploma Supplement.

Conference of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History

[In Association with the Bulgarian Women’s History Group, the Bulgarian Association of University Women and Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”]

Women, Gender and the Cultural Production of Knowledge

St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia

8-11 August 2007

Further programme details and list of speakers are listed at the end of this newsletter.

ASPASIA vol. 1 and 3

The inaugural issue of ASPASIA, the first international peer-reviewed yearbook that seeks to bring out the best scholarship in the field of interdisciplinary women's and gender history focusing on, and especially produced in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe, is now available.

ASPASIA vol. 1 focuses on Women’s Movements and Feminisms, and includes a
Forum about Communism and Feminism.
For more information see .

The editors would also like to invite submissions of 6,000 to 8,000 words for inclusion in ASPASIA vol. 3 (to appear in 2009). The theme of the volume will be: The Gender History of Everyday Life /Alltagsgeschichte/Histoire de la vie quotidienne.

This issue of ASPASIA will be dedicated to the practice of everyday life, to themes linked to the lived, everyday aspects of gender identity. In
particular, we are interested in submissions that address the following questions:
How have broad institutional frameworks - religious, social, economical, political, and cultural - related to the ways in which average women and men have shaped their gender identities? And vice versa: how have (changes in) gender identities and relations influenced broader institutional frameworks and fostered the development of particular lifestyles and divisions between work and recreation /leisure / entertainment?

More specifically, how have religious institutions' assumptions about gender
norms shaped the religious practices and spirituality of lay women and men? How have sexual norms impacted how women and men perform and negotiate their sexual identity? How have specific marital traditions, such as patrilocality, influenced how women and men relate to each other in couples, and how gender
is understood in small local communities? How have modern economic processes changed economic empowerment along gender lines? How have commercial practices challenged or secured specific understandings of gendered work and identities? What changes did state socialism bring to women's and men's
gender identities and daily lives, and how did that change over time (through the impact of industrialization, urbanization, an economy of scarcity, etc.)?

These and other questions that engage with the lived, everyday aspects of femaleness and maleness, femininities and masculinities in Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe (CESEE), represent the broad focus of ASPASIA 3. In all cases we are interested in how gender intersected with other categories
of identity and social organization - class, ethnicity, nationality, location, age, and sexuality - in shaping the history of everyday life.
Contributions could highlight specific case studies, be more broadly comparative, or address issues pertaining to the methodologies and
theoretical underpinnings for working on these aspects of historical research and analysis. They can deal with all historical periods. Overall, we are interested in innovative essays, both in approach and in focus, so long as they remain anchored in the regional context and gender analysis that are the foundation of our for submission is 1 October 2007. Please send a copy as a Word attachment to: Maria Bucur:

For the Guidelines for Authors or other questions, please see

Did you know that IFRWH has a fantastic website? It’s:

Visit "Imagining Ourselves," an on-line exhibit of the International Museum of Women  < >




Emeritus Professor Alison Mackinnon (Hawke Research Unit, University of South Australia) has been appointed for a 4 year term to the International Advisory Board for a large funded project (AUD $10 million) on Ageing and Living Conditions at the Centre for Population Studies, Umea University, Sweden. The project is housed in a centre well known internationally for historical demography: Professor Mackinnon will bring interdisciplinary and gendered perspectives to the project as well as aspects from women's history.

Dr Margaret Poulos joined the History Department at the University of Sydney in February 2007 to commence research under an ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her project title is ‘A New History of 68: Feminism and Student Revolt in the Colonel’s Greece (1967-74)

Dr Catherine Kevin has taken a lectureship in History at Flinders University, she works on the history of pregnancy.

Janette Hancock who assists with the editing of this newsletter has had her Ph.D thesis passed . It is entitled ‘A Not So Innocent Vision’. She will graduate from the University of Adelaide in August and presently holds a research position at the Hawke Institute at the University of South Australia.

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