Gender, Networks and Collaboration Across Cultures and History

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
KU Leuven
contact email: 

CfP: Gender, Networks and Collaboration Across Cultures and History

6 May 2022

Organizers: Núria Codina and Beatrijs Vanacker (KU Leuven)

Keynote Speakers: Rebecca Braun (NUI Galway) & Hilary Brown (Birmingham)

As the Romantic notion of the author as a male solitary genius is losing currency and being reformulated by scholars and writers alike, the role of gender in collaborative practices has come increasingly into the spotlight. Despite this growing interest, most studies focus on a particular historical period, most notably the contemporary era or the nineteenth-century. Although historical studies are gaining ground, especially on networks of female writers and translators in the modern period, we lack comparative analyses that help us better understand the continuities and changes that collaborations underwent across time and the role that gender plays in these processes. In addition, most studies are restricted to a single form of collaboration (networks, overt co-authorship or co-signature, implicit collaborations) or to a particular domain (academia, literary production, translation, circulation, reception). As a result, we lack insights into the – sometimes conflictual – relationships between the multiple practices, agents, gender roles and contexts involved in collaborative work.

This workshop aims to explore the role of gender in literary collaborations and networks by bringing different periods, cultures and practices into play. It will examine the cultural, social and historical dynamics that shape gender roles and collaboration, primarily – but not limited to – the European context. Moreover, the workshop will highlight the intersections between different collaborative practices in the production, circulation and reception of literature.

Topics might include but are not restricted to the following:

  • Theoretical approaches to the interplay between gender and collaboration
  • Gender, power and collaboration
  • Comparative, transnational or historical analyses of networks and collaborations, with particular attention to gender
  • Multilingualism, gender and collaborative work
  • Collaborative translation and gender
  • The role of agents from a comparative and gendered perspective
  • Collaboration and gender in publishing institutions 
  • Reading groups and communal reading practices across history and cultures
  • Reception of women’s collaborative writing across cultures and history

Format & submission guidelines

This one-day workshop, which will take place at KU Leuven (Belgium), will consist of two keynote lectures by Rebecca Braun (NUI Galway) and Hilary Brown (Birmingham) and several thematic sessions (preferably on campus, online if necessary). We particularly encourage early career researchers to participate. Interested speakers are invited to submit a title and abstract in English (300 words) for 20-minute presentations by 1December 2021

Please send the abstracts, accompanied by a short bionote, to nuria.codina@kuleuven.be and beatrijs.vanacker@kuleuven.be. Notification of acceptance will be given by 15 January 2022