Gender and property cultures in the 18th century
Interdisciplinary workshop at the University of Jena
January, 15th-17th 2004
Ideas about property and possession have to be regarded as central elements of the European political culture during the early modern period. But if property cultures are set as the object of research, property turns out to become a complex system of social endowment, which not only illustrates the juridical dimension of the term. Furthermore, it focuses on crucial norms, institutions, values, states of knowledge, discourses, mentalities, symbols and social-cultural practices.
Consequently, the workshop will not only discuss the relationship between gender and property cultures from a normative point of view. Moreover, gender is also related to mentalities, states of knowledge, and experiences with property, which can be taken, for instance, from juridical conflicts about property and possession. All these aspects should help studying the way, in which property establishes, strengthens or questions the hierarchy of gender.
How did men and women – for example in the economic sphere, or while dealing with jurisdiction on marriage, movable and immovable goods, and inheritance – reflect on property or on its gendered notion? If property and gender were discussed in the same context, what tendencies could be figured out? Did specific values arise from these discussions, which could offer orientation in any sense – and were they put into practice? And, on a more general scale, what role did gender play in different national property cultures?
All in all, property cultures should be understood as gendered systems which structured the social world and its relationships. This approach not only provides a new idea of property, but it also raises questions concerning constructing and deconstructing social systems.
Papers may be given in English or German, discussions will be in both languages.
November, 15th 2003
Please send abstracts (which should not exceed two pages) to Dr. Nicole Grochowina, FSU Jena
Dr. Nicole Grochowina
Friedrich Schiller Universitaet Jena
Historisches Institut Fuerstengraben 13
07743 Jena – Germany
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