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Appel à contributions

Women, Bourgeois Femininity, and Public Space in 19th-century European Visual Culture

Avant le 31 janvier 2010


Date de mise en ligne : [16-11-2009]




Temma Balducci and Heather Belnap Jensen, editors

We invite proposals for a collection that considers representations of bourgeois women in public spaces/roles over the long nineteenth century in Europe.

It is tantamount to scripture that nineteenth-century women, particularly of the middle and upper classes, were associated with the interior spaces of the home. Art historical accounts of such women have codified the notion of the „Angel in the House“ and focused on the visual culture representing domesticity and private life. While the recent volume The nvisible Flâneuse : Gender, Public Space and Visual Culture in Nineteenth-century Paris (Manchester 2006) has gone some way toward challenging such conventional assumptions, our volume is premised on the notion that the descriptor „flâneuse“ does not adequately capture the myriad positions available to European women vis-à-vis the public sphere.

There remains much to be said on the topic.

This project is spurred by Janet Wolff’s admonition that rather than theorizing the „impossible“ flâneuse, scholars should instead focus on researching women’s actual lives in the city, along with revisionist scholarship that challenges traditional assumptions regarding the public/private divide. To that end, the editors seek submissions that engage with the concrete details of bourgeois women’s activities outside the home across the spectrum of nineteenth-century European culture and as registered in visual culture. What venues and mechanisms facilitated women’s participation in the shaping of public culture ? In what ways do their activities help to alter longstanding conventional notions of public space ? Of modernity ? Of femininity ? Of masculinity ? From a historiographic standpoint, what is the continued lure of the separate spheres ideology for art historians.

We encourage and wish to present multiple theoretical frameworks and perspectives. Please send a 400-word proposal and a CV as electronic
attachments in MS-word to

Temma Balducci (tbalducci@astate.edu) and

Heather Belnap Jensen (heather_jensen@byu.edu)

by January 31, 2010.

The deadline for completed essays will be August 31, 2010

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