This lively collection of essays, originally published in 1989, illustrated recent developments in the area, with chapters by contributors from many different countries and disciplines.
Asking new questions and using sources in a challenging way, the contributors reflect 1980s debates about politics and academic research in women’s studies. They cover a wide range of topics, dealing for example with opportunities and obstacles for women within male-defined power-structures and institutions such as science, religious communities, and ancient Roman industry. They discuss feminists and feminist movements, analyse the utterances of women and men in medieval literature and in defamation cases, and give insights into the ways femaleness and femininity are given meaning. The essays on theory deal with such important issues as women’s historiography, and androcentrism and ethnocentrism in history.
Preface 1. Politics, Identification and the Writing of Women’s History Selma Leydesdorff 2. Maria Winkelmann: the Clash between Guild Traditions and Professional Science Londa Schiebinger 3. Female Education and Spiritual Life: the Case of Ministers’ Daughters Lucia Bergamasco 4. Brick Stamps and Women’s Economic Opportunities in Imperial Rome Paivi Setala 5. Witchcraft in the Northern Netherlands Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra 6. Emancipated Integration or Integrated Emancipation: the Case of Post-revolutionary Yugoslavia Lydia Sklevicky 7. Female Culture, Pacifism and Feminism: Women Strike for Peace Amy Swerdlow 8. Gossipy Letters in the Context of International Feminism Mineke Bosch 9. The Origins of Feminism in Egypt Margot Badran 10. Female Aspiration and Male Ideology: School-teaching in Nineteenth-century New England Jo Anne Preston 11. ‘Embittered, Sexless or Homosexual’: Attacks on Spinster Teachers 1918-39 Alison Oram 12. Women’s Psychological Disorders in Seventeenth-century Britain Anne Laurence 13. Pygmalion, or the Women in Medieval Literature Annelies van Gijsen 14. Whores and Gossips: Sexual Reputation in London 1770-1825 Anna Clark 15. On the Origins of Dutch Women’s Historiography: Three Portraits (1840-1970) Maria Grever 16. A Paradigm of Androcentric Historiography: Michelet’s Les femmes de la Revolution Helga Grubitzsch 17. Ethnocentrism in the Study of Algerian Women Willy Jansen
The editors were all organisers of the International Conference on Women's History, held in Amsterdam in March 1986.