Enlightened Female Networks: Gendered ways of producing knowledge. Online seminar. Read more.

Circulating Gender in the Global Enlightenment: Ideas, Networks, Agencies (CIRGEN)

13 and 14 November 2020. Organizers: Anna Maerker (King’s College London), Elena Serrano (Universitat de València), and Simon Werrett (UCL)


The seminar addresses women’s scholarly and scientific activities at the scale of the circle, network, or community in the period 1760-1840, with a focus on European states, but also taking in the global context.

It will explore how communities and networks of women were created and maintained and seek to understand the contexts in which they operated, how they related to existing scientific communities and how they generated new ones. It will ask what were the acceptable topics, the ways of doing, and the preconditions for these communities to be able to engage in science.

How did they foster new identities, femininities, and roles for women in society? How did these practices mirror, reinforce, and sometimes challenge contemporary ideas of gender, and how did they demarcate masculine domains in science? What forces were at work to enable such network-building and scientific activity? What conditions and contexts acted to disaggregate these communities, preventing their formation or disrupting their continuity?


Image: Lady Montagu in Turkish Dress by Jean-Étienne Liotard, ca. 1756, Palace on the Water in Warsaw



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