This book considers the promise of women's and gender history for revolutionizing our understanding of the past while also acknowledging the current national political, financial, and other contextual realities that can (and do) constrain or promote the possibilities for researching and writing women's history. The editors assert that the promise of women's and gender history is a cutting edge field of research, "a revolutionary development in the politics of historical scholarship," essential for understanding the human past. Further, they argue for the inseparability of women's history and gendered analytical approaches.
The contributors to the volume address questions including: what have been the achievements of women's and gender history over the past two decades? To what extent has it succeeded in making women's history an integral part of historical study rather than an optional specialist area? What impact has the study of manhood, masculinities, and men's gendered power had on our understanding of women's lives? What is the relationship between gender studies and new critical histories of colonialism and empire, contact zones, cross-cultural encounters, and racialization? How is new work on cultural geography and spatial categories impacting on our historical understandings of bodily difference?
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Women’s History Review.
Table of Contents
Introduction Karen Offen and Chen Yan
1. Women’s History at the Cutting Edge: a joint paper in two voices Chen Yan and Karen Offen
2. The Dangers of Complacency: women’s history/gender history in Canada in the twenty-first century Catherine Carstairs and Nancy Janovicek
3. The History of Women and Gender: French perspectives on the last twenty years Françoise Thébaud (translated by Karen Offen)
4. From Invisibility to Marginality: women’s history in Romania Maria Bucur
5. Women’s History at the Cutting Edge in Japan Rui Kohiyama
6. Women’s and Gender Studies of the Russian Past: two contemporary trends Natalia Pushkareva and Maria Zolotukhina
7. ‘A Glass Half Full’? Women’s history in the UK June Purvis
8. Women’s History in Many Places: reflections on plurality, diversity and polyversality Joanna de Groot
Karen Offen is a Historian and Independent Scholar, affiliated as a Senior Scholar with The Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, USA. She publishes on the history of modern Europe, especially France and its global influence, from a women's and gender history perspective. She holds a PhD from Stanford University, USA.
Chen Yan is a Professor and the Vice-Chair of the History Department at Fudan University, Shanghai, China and Co-Director of the UM-Fudan Joint Institute for Gender Studies. She specializes in the modern history of China, especially women's and gender history.