Earning a Living
Gender and Work Throughout the Ages
Pampaneira (Granada-Spain), September 12-16, 2022
The historiographical shifts of the late twentieth century have shaped a landscape of historical research in which work and economics have faded into the background, bringing other concerns about culture, sexuality, power and discourse to the fore. However, as Kathleen Canning points out, these new research perspectives have not only failed to dampen interest in one of the main factors in the creation of inequality in historical societies but, by breaking down the dichotomy between the material and the symbolic, they have gone beyond the limits of certain historical metanarratives. Those who have researched gender and work in recent decades have been active players in the historiographical transformations that have led to a broadening in the field of the history of work and class, intersecting with other areas of research such as citizenship, the state, the public and private spheres, spaces, bodies, identities, subjectivities, violence and a long etcetera. This is in addition to the inclusion of new methodologies in which discourses and language establish connections between fields that would otherwise be considered different and distinct from work or economics.
These transformations in research on gender and work have had an unequal impact across different disciplines and countries. This, together with the fact that thirty years have passed since a major interdisciplinary event brought together people from different backgrounds and methodological perspectives in Spain, has led us to convene this International Congress. We see it as an opportunity to join up the conversations taking place in our respective countries, disciplines and institutions.
The congress is organised by an interdisciplinary team engaged in a project on women and work in Andalusia, but this call is made without restrictions on discipline, territory or time period. Our great past and present are the stage upon which we will consider: Earning a Living: Gender and Work.
We propose the following topics for discussion, which are neither exclusive nor exhaustive.
Historiographic reflections and theoretical and methodological contributions. Here, we group together everything from evaluations of the state of research in any given field of knowledge through to theoretical and methodological proposals, analysis of the main debates within the disciplines, and re-categorisations, etc.
Portrayals of work in literature, art, cinema, etc. Today as throughout history, different portrayals of work as a social fact have been carved out, and literature, art, music, and folklore, etc. have been instrumental in shaping and disseminating them. Here, we aim to gather together these fundamental elements in the formation of the social imaginaries of work and gender.
Law, work and gender. Labour-related legislation is the guiding thread of this topic, not overlooking the fact that the law is constructed within a specific cultural and historical context, while also contributing to the construction of that context, with gender playing a fundamental role in the positivisation of these cultural constructs.
Space, gender and work. Conventional assumptions about the spatial and sexual division of labour have presided too often over historical or economic research, which is why we consider that reflections on space, gender and work are fundamental, whether discussing the materiality of workspaces (which for many centuries included the home) or the public-private divide.
Fields, workshops, factories, offices, schools and homes: Case studies. In this discussion topic we would like to emphasise that any form of work, whatever its scope, makes a welcome contribution to understanding gender and work, past and present. This includes work both in and outside the home, small artisan activities and large businesses, ranging from anonymous work to large corporate profiles, or less well researched professional activities such as sports, and casual work.
Work, gender and violence. Workplace violence is recognised worldwide as one of the most worrying emerging social problems due to its growing magnitude and the resulting personal, corporate and social consequences. Here we will address everything from conceptual problems to concrete case studies.
Gender and corporate, business and trade union organisations. Here we aim to focus the discussion in particular on the organisational structures of economic and social stakeholders and how they are gendered.
Conflicts, strikes and political unrest. This discussion topic will highlight the significance of tensions and conflicts around work and how gender impacts them, including all forms of resistance from the most subtle to open conflicts with major social implications.
Work, resistance and democratic memory. In a world where the experience that has been handed down has become fractured as a result of violence and a social system that fragments lives and wipes out traditions, memory, as Traverso says, plays a central role. Here we want to create a space to reflect on democratic memory in relation to work, the hegemonic policies of silence and oblivion and, in contrast, the acts of resistance, whether it be transmitted underground or through present-day interventions.
Gender and work in primary, secondary and vocational education. Here we would like to introduce a key element in the way society’s perceptions of the economy and work are formed and where gender is a fundamental marker. We want to cover everything from the analysis of teaching materials to the study of career guidance policies, as well as any aspect of teacher or student training that has an impact on this issue.
Occupational health and gender. We do not wish to overlook such an important dimension of work as occupational health since, as various international organisations have shown, male and female workers are subject to different risks, either due to the segregation of tasks, working conditions or biological differences. Sex and gender issues are interrelated both within and outside the workplace and have a direct impact on the differential exposure to risks and the subsequent and also differential effects on the health of men and women.
Technology and Gender. The technological gap, which today is a clear issue, is marked by gender. Here we propose to consider the most relevant problems, approaches and methods in science, technology and gender in the workplace. From the mill to the laboratory, from agriculture to software, these are all spaces that demonstrate the persistence of patriarchy in technological culture as an instrument of power and resistance.
Gender, work and clothing. Dress plays a fundamental role in past and present societies. The clothing associated with work has fulfilled not only practical, but also political and social functions, whether it be the livery of the servant, 80s executives’ “power-dressing”, or garments for protection and efficiency at work.
HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONGRESS
The Congress will be organised around working sessions. Individual contributions are welcome and should be submitted to a specific session. In the event of the author not choosing a session, one will be assigned.
Proposals for working sessions: to be submitted to the Congress organisers (email@example.com) between September 15 and November 30, 2021. Confirmation of acceptance will be announced on January 15, 2022. The proposal should include:
- Session title, name of the session organiser, institutional affiliation, email, personal website, telephone, a summary of the session’s objectives of at least 200 words, keywords and a recommendation for a session moderator. In the case of identical submissions, the organisers reserve the right to merge them into one.
In the event that a session does not receive at least 5 submissions by the deadline for the reception of papers, it may be merged with another. Papers should meet the criteria listed below.
Proposals for papers should be sent to the Congress organisers (firstname.lastname@example.org) between January 30 and April 15, 2022. These should include:
- Title of the paper, the author’s personal details (name, institutional affiliation, email, personal web, telephone), a 300-500 word abstract, and the assigned working session. Should no working session be specified, the organisers will assign one. Confirmation of acceptance will be provided by May 15, 2022.
REGISTRATION AND FEES:
Author registration fee.
– 90€ – if completed by May 15, 2022.
– 130€ – from May 16 to July 31, 2022 (when registration closes).
Registration includes attendance at congress sessions, congress materials and attendance at fringe events.
Attendee registration fee.
– 75€, to be completed from May 16 to July 31, until full capacity is reached in accordance with COVID regulations.
Discounts: Unemployed persons and students are entitled to a 50% discount. Proof of eligibility for the discount must be provided.
CONGRESS WORKING LANGUAGES: English and Spanish (no interpretation will be provided).
PUBLICATION: Organisers will ensure publication of the book of abstracts with ISBN by a recognised publishing house.