Carolina “Gender, War and Culture” Workshop Series

Fall 2014

Public Workshop: Gender, War and Humanitarianism In the Twentieth Century

Thursday, 11 September 2014

12:30 – 5:30 pm • UNC–Chapel Hill • Institute for Arts and Humanities • Hyde Hall • University Room

 

Humanitarian intervention reemerged in the 1990s, becoming increasingly controversial as practice in contemporary international politics. Significantly, it also generated new research on its own history. This workshop centers on ideologies and practices of humanitarianism as they emerged and developed in the wake of nineteenth and twentieth-century nationalism and the wars it spawned. It will address the specific nature of twentieth-century humanitarianism in relation to both the character of war in this period and the rise of internationalist politics at elite and grassroots levels. It will explore how gender both shaped and was shaped by humanitarian politics, for example in relation to the influence of (trans)national feminist movements on the establishment of human rights and norms. It will also examine redefinitions of masculinity and femininity in international efforts to secure peace, and critically assess the use and abuse of gendered humanitarian ideals in legitimizing war and international military interventions.

Co-Host:

Workshop “Lost Futures in the History of European Empires II,” a collaboration between the History Department of King’s College London, the University of London and UNC–Chapel Hill.

Sponsors: UNC–Chapel Hill: African Studies Center • Center for European Studies • Center for Global Initiatives • Curriculum in Global Studies • Department of History • Global Partnership Fund • Office of the Dean • North Carolina Central University: College of Arts & Sciences • King’s Fund • King’s College, University of London

Program

12:00 am – 12:30 pm: Registration for the Workshop and Welcome Coffee

12:30 – 12:50 pm: Welcome

KAREN HAGEMANN (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

SUSAN PENNYBACKER (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

JONATHAN HARTLYN Senior Associate Dean (UNC–Chapel Hill, College of Arts and Sciences)

12:50 – 1:50 pm

Gendered Bodies in Wartime: International Law, Humanitarianism, and Military Medical Services, 1864–1923

JEAN H. QUATAERT (Binghamton University SUNY, Department of History)

The paper addresses the earliest transnational political and legal crusade that linked ‘humanitarianism’ to warfare. It opens in 1863–64, with the formulation of a new international legal-medical regime under the Geneva Conventions that protected the wounded male body of whatever ethnicity, nationality or geographical place and the sex specific bodies of the medical personnel on and near the battlefield. Then it examines the early work of the British National Aid Society in wars of empire and armed struggles in which Britain was not formally a combatant, illustrating the multiple politics of humanitarianism tied to warfare prior to the WWI. The examination ends with WWI, when battlefield humanitarian services expanded and a new humanitarian politics consolidated under the League of Nations.

Jean H. Quataert is Professor of History and Women’s Studies at Binghamton University, SUNY and the co-editor of the Journal of Women’s History. Her fields of research are on German history and more recently, on human rights, transnational and global history. Her recent books include: Advocating Dignity: Human Rights Mobilizations in Global Politics (2009); Gendering Modern German History: Rewriting Historiographies, ed. with Karen Hagemann (2007/2010); The Gendering of Human Rights in the International Systems of Law in the Twentieth Century (2006); and Staging Philanthropy: Patriotic Women and the National Imagination in Dynastic Germany, 1813–1916 (2001).

Comment: MARGARET HUMPHREYS (Duke University, Department of History)

Moderation: KAREN HAGEMANN (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

Discussion

1:50 – 2:10 pm: Coffee Break

2:10 – 3:10 pm

“Mothers of Starving Millions”: Women and International Relief in the Career of Francesca Wilson, 1888–1981

ELLEN ROSS (Ramapo College, School of Social Sciences and Human Services)

Between 1914 and 1947 British women expanded, and internationalized the Victorian philanthropic tradition. Much of their work involved the traditional women’s operations of feeding, housing, healing, and clothing the hungry and homeless. Newly enfranchised, and more often university-educated than before, these empowered figures exercised a modern kind of female authority. This paper will center on an exemplar of this generation: Francesca Wilson (1888–1981), a 1906 Newnham College graduate, who was involved in the relief work of both world wars. Wilson left her work as a teacher for long stretches in Serbia, Austria, Russia, Spain, Hungary, and Germany. Her career is suggestive of the gradual professionalization of relief work, a project to which she also contributed in various publications.

Ellen Ross is Professor Emerita of History and Women’s Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey. Her previous research has focused on British social and women’s history of the 19th and 20th century and London women’s history. Her books include: Love and Toil: Motherhood in Outcast London (1993); and (as editor and author) the anthology Slum Journeys: Lady Explorers “In Darkest London” (2007). Her current research is on the transformation of female philanthropy in the inter-war period. The project is titled Settlement Worker to “Mother of Millions:” from Social Work to Global Activism in Britain, 1914–1950.

Comment: SUSAN PENNYBACKER (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

Moderation: SONYA O. ROSE (University of Michgan, Ann Arbor and Birckbeck, University of London, Department of History, Classic and Archaeology)

Discussion

3:10 – 3:30 pm: Coffee Break

3:30 – 4:30 pm

Women and the World: War, Humanitarianism and Sites of International Memory

GLENDA SLUGA (University of Sydney, Department of History)

In 1915, a British Nurse named Edith Cavell working in a Red Cross hospital in Brussels was executed by a German firing squad. Cavell worked with the local Red Cross unit to save the lives of soldiers from all sides. The German military, though, accused her of aiding and abetting the escape of over 200 Allied soldiers from German–occupied Belgium. After her death Cavell was transformed into a heroic martyr for the Allied cause. The transnational cadences of Cavell’s memorialization lead us into a number of directions, from the more complex status of nationalism in the war and the 1920s, to the entangled gender significance of humanitarianism, nationalism and internationalism. In this paper I ask are there international sites of memory, and what do they tell us about the gendered lessons of war?

Glenda Sluga is Professor of international History at the University of Sydney. She has published widely on the cultural history of international relations, internationalism, the history of European nationalisms, sovereignty, identity, immigration and gender history. Her books include: Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (2013); The Nation, Psychology, and International Politics, 1870–1919 (2006); and The Problem of Trieste and the Italo–Yugoslav Border (2001). She is currently editing with Patricia Clavin and Sunil Amrith, a collection of essays on Histories of Internationalism; and with Carolyn James and Giulia Calvi, a volume on Women, Diplomacy, and International Politics.

Comment: CEMIL AYDEN (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

Moderation: DIRK BÖNKER (Duke University, Department of History)

Discussion

4:30 – 4:45 pm: Coffee Break

4:45 – 5:30pm

Reflections on Humanitarianism in the Twentieth Century from the Perspective of Gender, War and Empire

FREDERICK COOPER (New York University, Department of History)

Frederick Cooper is Professor of History at New York University. His areas of interest and research are: modern Africa, empires in world history, colonization and decolonization, and, the social sciences and the colonial situation. His more recent books include: Citizenship between Empire and Nation: Remaking France and French Africa, 1945–1960 (2014); Empires in World History, Power and the Politics of Difference (2010); together with Jane Burbank Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History (2005); and Africa Since 1940: The Past of the Present (2002).

Moderation: LISA A. LINDSEY (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

Discussion

5:30 pm

Closing Remarks: DIRK BÖNKER (Duke University, Department of History)

5:30 – 6:00 pm: Reception

6:15 – 7:30 pm

Public Keynote: 

Gender, War, and Humanitarian Intervention in the 21st Century

KRISTEN P. WILLIAMS (Clark University, Department of Political Science)

In the two decades since the Cold War ended, humanitarian crises have continued to plague the international community: Bosnia, DRC, Kosovo, Libya, Rwanda, Sudan, and Syria, to name a few. Calls for humanitarian intervention to protect civilians and alleviate significant human rights violations have been made. Yet, as feminist scholars remind us, humanitarian intervention is highly gendered: decision makers frame intervention as a masculine endeavor in which men are the protectors and women are the protected. This talk will explore several questions: What might a feminist framework for humanitarian intervention and postwar reconstruction processes look like? In what ways do race, ethnicity, and class intersect with gender when examining cases of intervention and peacebuilding? How can the gendered discourse be altered in order to promote gender equality and prioritize women’s needs and concerns during war and after?

Kristen P. Williams is Professor of Political Science at Clark University. Her research interests are in the field of international relations, focusing on nationalism, ethnic conflict, gender, and international relations theory. Her recent publications include: Women at War, Women Building Peace: Challenging Gender Norms (2013); Ethnic Conflict: A Systematic Approach to Cases of Conflict, with Neal G. Jesse (2011); Women and War: Gender Identity and Activism in Times of Conflict (2010); Identity and Institutions: Conflict Reduction in Divided Societies (2005); and together with Joyce P. Kaufman Women, the State, and War: A Comparative Perspective on Citizenship and Nationalism (2007). She is co-editor, with Steven Lobell and Neal G. Jesse, of Beyond Great Powers and Hegemons: Why Secondary States Support, Follow, or Challenge (2012).

Moderation: KAREN HAGEMANN (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

Discussion

The public keynote is the start of a conference:

Gender, War and Culture: From the Age of the World Wars to the Cold War, Anti-Colonial Struggle and the Wars of Globalization (1910s–Present)
12–13 September 2014 at UNC–Chapel Hill.

For more information on the conference click here.

Spring 2014

Public Workshop: Gender, War and Empire in a Global Perspective

Thursday, 20 February 2014

1:30 – 5:00 pm • UNC–Chapel Hill • Institute for Arts and Humanities • Hyde Hall • University Room

This workshop is devoted to an exploration of the centrality of empire to the involvement of Europe and the Americas in wars during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It will discuss wars over the creation and extension of imperial domains and their impact on colonized peoples as well as the colonizers, the involvement of imperial subjects and colonized people in primarily European wars, and the armed struggles for self-determination that followed in the wake of those wars. It will explore the role of gender in distinguishing the rulers from the ruled as well as in the gendered politics involved in the militarization of civil society in prewar as well as wartime society. It will also consider the consequences of imperial wars and wars of decolonization for gender relations among both colonized and colonizers.

Program

1:30 – 1:45 pm

Welcome: KAREN HAGEMANN (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History) and DIRK BÖNKER (Duke University, Department of History)

Introduction: KAREN HAGEMANN (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Department of History)

1:45 – 3:15 pm

Panel 1: The Case of the British Empire

Moderator: KAREN HAGEMANN (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

Presentations:

Imperial Manhood and Colonial Subordination: The Gendered Politics of War

MARYLIN LAKE (The University of Melbourne, The School of Historical and Philosophical Studies)

In the British settlement colonies of Australia, New Zealand and Canada, white men initially constructed their sense of manhood in terms of their ‘right of self-government’, an assumed capacity and entitlement that distinguished them from the British subjects of ‘Crown Colonies’ and was increasingly defined in terms of their sovereign rights over immigration and border control. With the advent of world war in the 20th century, the men of these British Dominions re-defined their manhood (and thus proved their nationhood) in terms of their military capacities as soldiers. Thus, fighting as colonials in imperial wars became, paradoxically, central to the making of national identities in narratives that also rendered women marginal to the process of nation-building, even when, as in the case of Australia and New Zealand they were the first in the world to win political enfranchisement.

Marilyn Lake holds an Australian Research Council Professorial Research Fellowship and is Professor in History at the University of Melbourne. She has published widely at the national and international level on histories of war, empire, citizenship and campaigns for sexual and racial equality. Her two most recent books are the multi-prize winning Drawing the Global Colour Line: White Men’s Countries and the International Challenge of Racial Equality (2008) co-authored with Henry Reynolds and the controversial What’s Wrong with Anzac? The Militarization of Australian History (2010).

Sexual Violence: Locating the Nexus of Gender, War and Colonialism

ANGELA WOOLACOTT (Australian National University, School of History)

Sexual violence, its apprehension and representation, were central to imperial conquest and expansion in the 19th and 20th centuries. Rape, assault and the forced prostitution of indigenous women characterized both settler colonies such as Australia and Canada and colonies of exploitation such as India. Fears of interracial sexual assault structured colonizers’ stories and justified colonial war from 1840s Gippsland in southern Australia to the 1857–58 Indian Rebellion. This paper will seek to explain the divergence between the reality of the widespread sexual assault of indigenous women by colonizing men and the often (though not always) exaggerated representation of sexual assault of European women by colonized men. At the same time it will consider the imperial circulation of reports of colonial revolt and their invocation, such as the ways in which the spectre of the Indian Rebellion was used in 1857–58 Queensland to justify violent reprisals against Aboriginal people and the grabbing of their lands. I shall offer speculation as to why sexual violence was so often at the nexus of colonial warfare, its representation and the consolidation of imperial rule.

Angela Woollacott is the Manning Clark Professor of History at the Australian National University. Her research and publications have been in the fields of gender and war, Modern British and British Empire history, Australian history, whiteness, gender and modernity, settler colonialism and transnational biography. Her most recent books include Gender and Empire (2006); Transnational Ties: Australian Lives in the World (ed. with Desley Deacon and Penny Russell, 2008); Transnational Lives: Biographies of Global Modernity, 1700–present (ed. with Desley Deacon and Penny Russell, 2010); and Race and the Modern Exotic: Three ‘Australian’ Women on Global Display(2011).

The Politics of Service and Sacrifice in World War I Ireland and India

SONJA O. ROSE  (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Birbeck, University of London, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology)

This paper analyses the varied meanings and languages of sacrifice in India and Ireland connected to service in the war effort (or resistance to it) and associated expectations concerning and demands for political reform. It underscores the imperial context of the Great War and argues that the language of sacrifice both during the war and in its aftermath aided the growth of nationalism (in both southern Ireland and India) and the renegotiation of national identity in Ulster. It will argue that in both Ireland and India gender was a significant feature of the discourses of sacrifice and in their imperial political repercussions.

Sonya O. Rose is Professor Emerita of History, Sociology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan. Currently she is Honorary Research Fellow in History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London and Honorary Professor of History at the University of Warwick. She is the author of Limited Livelihoods: Gender and Class in Nineteenth-Century England (1992); Which People’s War: National Identity and Citizenship in Wartime Britain, 1939–45 (2003), and What is Gender History? (2010). She has also co-edited several volumes of essays, most recently with Catherine Hall, At Home with the Empire: Metropolitan Culture and the Imperial World (2006).

Discussion

3:45 – 4:00 pm Coffee Break

4:00 – 5:00 pm

Panel 2: Roundtable: Comparative Perspectives

Moderator: SUSAN THORNE (Duke University, Department of History)

Panel:

AMY S. GREENBERG (Penn State University, Department of History)

MISCHA HONECK (German Historical Institute, Washington D.C.)

DONALD M. REID (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

SUSAN D. PENNYBACKER (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History)

Discussion

5:00 pm

Closing Remarks: DIRK BÖNKER (Duke University, Department of History)

Fall 2011

Workshop: The Oxford Handbook on Gender, Military and War in Modern History since 1600: Conceptual Reflections

Saturday, 17 September 2011

9:00 am – 4:00 pm • UNC–Chapel Hill • Institute for Arts and Humanities • Hyde Hall • Incubator Room

 

Graduate Workshop: Gender, War and Nation in the Middle East

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


1:00 – 3:00 pm • UNC–Chapel Hill • Institute for Arts and Humanities • Hyde Hall • Incubator Room

With NADJE AL-ALI (University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies)

Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies and Chair of the Centre for Gender Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora mobilization; war, conflict and reconstruction. She is currently President of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS) and serves also a member of the Feminist Review Collective and a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq, with Nicola Pratt (University of California Press, 2009); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (Zed Books, 2007); New Approaches to Migration, ed. with Khalid Koser (Routledge, 2002); Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2000) and Gender Writing – Writing Gender (American University in Cairo Press, 1994) as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent book is entitled Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives, co-edited with Nicola Pratt (Zed Books, 2009).

Co-Conveners: UNC–Chapel Hill: Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations; Center for European Studies; Curriculum in Peace, War and Defense; Department of Women’s Studies • Duke–UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies