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International Conference

New Perspectives on Gender and Legal History : European Traditions and the Challenge of Global History

2-4 avril, Francfort-sur-le-Main

Date de mise en ligne : [02-04-2009]

April, 2nd-4th 2009, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main
(Campus Westend, IG Farben Haus, Room 411)

Fifth conference of the international research network
„Gender Difference in the History of European Legal Cultures“

Organizers :
. Dr. Karin Gottschalk
Historisches Seminar, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
. Dr. Grethe Jacobsen
Danish Department, Royal Library Copenhagen
. Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Heide Wunder
Fachbereich 5 Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Universität Kassel

Aims of the Conference :

Law is a central element of social and political order - with it, power is institutionalized, actions are structured and sanctioned. Fundamental concepts of order are expressed and legitimised by law. This is especially true of gender difference. Until equal rights won out as the norm, differentiating legal capacities of persons by their gender meant assigning distinct forms of legally defined agency to men and women and fixing gender hierarchy. Nevertheless, even while formal equality is established throughout Europe since the 20th century, gender difference in law remains a precarious question.
The international research network „Gender Differences in European Legal Cultures“ aims at bringing together scholars who analyse in historical perspective the significance and function of gender differences in European legal cultures. This will help widen the possibilities of interdisciplinary and comparative work. The network is concerned with all fields of law – such as criminal, public, civil and procedural law – although focusing especially on civil law.
Our intention is a gendered history of law which not only increases our knowledge of legal norms explicitly concerning women or men, but also questions the construction of law itself.
In addition, the network directs its special attention to legal practice inside as well as outside the court and to relations of legal and social norms. Legal pluralism, the subsidiary of legal norms and competitive jurisdiction of different institutions concerned with the administration
of justice are analysed as to the agency they grant women and men and to their influence on shaping gender difference.
After the network’s meetings in Frankfurt am Main (2000), Trent (2002), Copenhagen (2004) and Crete (2006) the fifth conference will again take place in Germany, this time hosted by the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main. The aim of this conference is twofold : to work out common traditions and different traits of European legal cultures by comparative research and to enrich our perspective by the flowering research on gender and global history. This research has shown the necessity to extend our focus of attention and marks a challenge to concepts, methods and narratives of gender and legal history.
The conference will be composed of three parts, each starting with a lecture given on general considerations :
. Gender constructions in medical and religious discourses and their impact on jurisprudence and jurisdiction
. Comparing legal cultures : differences and similarities, concepts and methods
. Gendered legal cultures in global perspective : encounters and conflicts, transfers and interactions
In addition to these main parts there will also be short presentations of current research projects on gender difference in legal cultures in general.

Program :

Thursday, April 2, 2009 :

9.00 Introduction by the Organizers
Part I : Gender constructions in non-juridical discourses and their impact on jurisprudence and jurisdiction
Chair : Grethe Jacobsen (Copenhagen)
> Evdoxios Doxiadis (Athens) : The effects of non-juridical gender constructions on legal developments – some general considerations

11.00 Coffee Break

Section 1 : Philosophy and Theology, Religions and Confessions

> Linda Guzzetti (Berlin) : Women in court in 14th-century Venice : The
meaning of “equality” and “rationality” in written law and in court
> Cecilia Cristellon (Rome) : ‘Unstable and weak-minded’ or a missionary ?
Catholic women in mixed marriages (1563-1798)

13.00 Lunch Break

Chair : Heide Wunder (Kassel/Bad Nauheim)
> Ellinor Forster (Innsbruck) : Between law, gender and confession :
Catholic, protestant and jewish matrimonial law in Austria, 18th and
19th centuries
> Inken Schmidt-Voges (Osnabrück) : Paternal authority or maternal charity – male violence or female disobedience ? Gender construction in the religious concept of “Hausfrieden” and its impact on domestic litigation in 18th century Germany

16.00 Coffee Break

Chair : Nina Koefoed (Aarhus)

16.15 Section 2 : Society and Politics, Medicine and Science

> Ulrike Haerendel (Munich) : Gender disparities in social law : The treatment
of male and female pensioners by the pension insurance institutions
of the German “Kaiserreich”
> Katja Geiger (Vienna) : Gender in forensic case histories : Infanticide in
the first part of the 20th century
> Ulrike Klöppel (Berlin) : Who has the right to change gender status ?
Drawing boundaries between inter- and transsexuality, 1950-1980

Friday, April 3, 2009 :

Part II : Comparing Legal Cultures : Differences and Similarities, Concepts and Methods
Chair : Isabelle Chabot (Florence)

> Maria Ågren (Uppsala) : For better for worse. Swedish early modern
marriage law in an international perspective

10.30 Coffee Break

> Zlatomira Gerdzhikova (Sofia) : Gendered social positions based on civil
and canon law differences in the early Middle Ages : Western Europe
and the Balkans in comparison
> Jurgita Kunsmanaite (Budapest) : Property status of widows and widowers
in 16th-century Lithuania compared to Central and Western
> Karen M. Kern (New York) : Gender, islamic law, and milk marriage in
late Ottoman Birecik

13.15 Lunch Break

Presenstation of current research projects on gender differences in legal cultures I
Chair : Anna Bellavitis (Paris)

> Romy Kunert (Trier) : Gender differences and family strategies in the
legal culture of medieval Genoa
> Hiram Kümper (Vechta) : The injured body in context. Outlines for a
legal history of rape in pre-modern Europe (c. 1250-1750) in cultural
> 16.00 Wiebke Jensen (Göttingen) : “Hat mich der Beklagte wiederholt zum
Beischlafe zu verleiten gewußt” – Women and men in court in Hannover,
> Sonja Niederacher (Vienna) : Wealth formation via dowry in 20th century
In association with the Cornelia Goethe Center for Women’s and Gender Studies :

Saturday, April 4, 2009 :

Part III : Gendered Legal Cultures in Global Perspective : Encounters and Conflicts, Transfers and Interactions

Chair : Aglaia Kasdagli (Crete)

> Jutta Sperling (Amherst) : Across the religious divide. Women’s property
rights in the wider Mediterranean (ca. 1300-1800)

10.30 Coffee Break

> Mareike Menne (Stuttgart) : Of men without pigtails and women with
big feet. Hybrid law, gender, and culture in 17th century Batavia
> Michaela Bank (Frankfurt a. M.) : Representing „universal sisterhood“ –
countering nativism. Migrant women, citizenship and suffrage in the
19th-century US women’s rights movement

12.30 Lunch Break

Chair : Gerhard Jaritz (Budapest)
> Reut Yael Paz (Rishon LeZion) : The contribution of 20th-century jewish
German speaking female scholars to international law and global consciousness
> Grethe Jacobsen (Copenhagen) : Travelling with gender to different legal
cultures – experiences and perspectives

Final discussion, planning of the next conference in Budapest

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