E – Concepts and digital tools, fields and disciplines in global history
Was it a Man’s world? Intersections of gender and global history
Saturday, 27 June - 8:30–10:30
Saturday, 27 June - 11:00 – 13:00
- ThemeE – Concepts and digital tools, fields and disciplines in global history
- Angelika Epple (Bielefeld University)
- Christof Dejung (University of Bern)
- Christof Dejung (University of Bern)
- Antje Flüchter (Bielefeld University)
- Giulia Calvi (University of Siena)
- Felix Brahm (German Historical Institute)
- Katharina Storning (Justus Liebig University Giessen)
- Angelika Epple (Bielefeld University)
The forgotten (world) history of mighty female rulers of the East
The forgotten (world) history of mighty female rulers of the EastWorld history and even more the traditional history of the so-called European expansion was a history of male heroes who conquered and explored. Their antagonists were non-European rulers, male as well. Women were not part of this story, or were confined to particular spaces such as the orientalist phantasy of the harem. Such accounts obviously confirmed modern European gender roles. What is often forgotten or overlooked, though, is the fact that the early modern discourse about Asia worked differently. Mighty women, queens, but also the wives, mothers and sisters of kings and princes were frequently mentioned in European travel reports from India (e.g. those of Bernier, Tavernier, della Valle). The sisters of the Mughal prince and later Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Jahangirs wife or the queen of Olala played an important role in political life and administration; sometimes they were even relevant for the outcome of wars. Such female agency fitted into the premodern dynastic system. This paper explores how the mighty women of the East were written out of (global) history at the beginning of modern times with its polarized gender roles.
Embodied spaces. Gender, dress and the circulation of knowledge between Italy, Europe and Japan (sixteenth to nineteenth centuries)
Embodied spaces. Gender, dress and the circulation of knowledge between Italy, Europe and Japan (sixteenth to nineteenth centuries)The paper focuses on the representation of world people in costume books, atlases and screens circulating between Europe and Japan from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. It traces a transcontinental connection between the Venetian artist Cesare Vecellio’s Habiti antichi e moderni di tutto il mondo (1598) and the visual and textual production on world people in Japan amidst the flourishing of Namban Art during the Edo period. I will discuss three costume books: Vecellio's Habiti (Venice 1598); Nishikawa Joken's Mankoku jinbutsushu (The people of the 42 countries) (Tokyo 1720), and Yamamura Saisuke’s Teisei shijūnikoku jinbutsu zusetsu (The people of the 42 countries) (Tokyo, 1801). These costume books as well as maps, atlases and screens, represent the people of the world as heterosexual couples or small nuclear families. The representation of a western notion of gender relations embodies, as it were, a new consciousness of proto-globalization both in Europe and Japan as well as asymmetric power relations in the geopolitical arena and a transcontinental circulation of knowledge.
Writing gender into global commodity chains (in the 1820s)
Writing gender into global commodity chains (in the 1820s)The Global Commodity Chains approach has become an important research tool for analyzing contemporary production and trade networks, and to an increasing degree it has also been used in global history. A systematic inclusion of gender, however, is still missing from many respective studies. One reason for this omission might lie in the historically close connection with radical campaigning. Linking global trade relations with the category of gender, though, was an important step in evoking a global economic conscience in the first place and for raising awareness for the responsibility of the consumer. The paper studies early attempts of using gender discourses for establishing a critical inquiry of the sugar trade in the context of the antislavery movement of the 1820s. Drawing on the pamphlets of radical campaigner Elizabeth Heyrick in particular, the paper discusses the ways in which female activists made use of the category of gender in order to enhance awareness of injustice and exploitation along the transnational chain of sugar production and consumption. It will be argued that by bringing gender into the picture – for instance, by focusing on the male planter and the male lobbyist, the female enslaved worker and the female consumer – activists like Heyrick made for a new understanding of both distant and close power relations along the commodity chain. This strategy allowed for establishing transnational female solidarity and a potentially powerful position of women: that of the female buyer who made purchasing decisions on the household level. This insight was implemented into the sugar boycotts, the first broad consumer actions which were based on an understanding of global commodity chains.
The gendered logics of transnational aid: Women, men and the drive to save distant others in need
The gendered logics of transnational aid: Women, men and the drive to save distant others in needRecently, the histories of transnational aid and humanitarian engagement have attracted great attention among historians. Yet, while the contributions of women to humanitarian initiatives have been gradually recognized and added to existing historiographies, little has been said about the workings of gender in the transformation of local initiatives into transnational or even global undertakings. This paper studies the activities of Christian aid associations in nineteenth-century Germany and explores the gendered structures, practices and narratives that facilitated, mobilized, channeled and shaped aid across geographic, national, cultural and religious borders. Applying an intersectional perspective, the paper explores how “the world” gradually became a sphere of philanthropic activity for women and men in nineteenth-century Germany and asks how mobilizing narratives portrayed aid givers as gendered actors and related them to imagined beneficiaries in far-off settings. By doing so, the paper firstly traces the gendered and racialized logics of this type of transnational aid and secondly discusses why and how its recognition matters to contemporary scholarship and global histories.
Designing the future, comparing the past: Globally entangled discussions on race and gender around 1900
Designing the future, comparing the past: Globally entangled discussions on race and gender around 1900Around 1900, the social order was questioned in many respects, both globally and locally. One fundamental shift concerned the fact that Spain lost its last important colonies. Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines came under US-American influence. As a consequence, the USA could establish itself as a new empire and the European great powers realized that the European concert was about to dissolve. In this situation of global change, male intellectuals such as the Cuban José Martí, the Filipino José Rizal, the Afro-American W.E.B. Du Bois, to name but a few, developed plans for the future of both their respective societies and the world order. They established their plans for the future on the basis of comparative diagnoses of past and present deficits and achievements. These diagnoses were negotiated within globally entangled discussion in which race and gender comparisons played a major role. The paper examines how Martí, Rizal, and Du Bois dealt with the categories of gender and race within their attempts to rearrange world orders and the future of the societies they lived in.