"Gendering the History of Charity and Voluntary Effort", University of Huddersfield, 9 March 2012, call for paper until 3 February

From medieval and early modern elite understandings of charitable virtue to industrial cultures of mutual aid or contemporary understandings of community engagement, gender has been critically implicated in the history of voluntary action whether through the lens of experience, performance or social systems.

This one day workshop for postgraduates and early career researchers is the first of the Voluntary Action History Society. New Researchers workshops in 2012 and is supported by funding from the Economic History Society. The workshop will explore how gender was figured in voluntary activity at the levels of individual men’s and women’s lives and senses of self, the social structures and cultural means through which it was sustained, and its cultural legacies. We welcome papers which address these themes across all historical periods and places, and in terms of both men’s and women’s histories. We particularly encourage paper proposals that consider methodological and conceptual issues.

Possible themes could include, but are no means limited to:

 The role of family and social networks in building voluntary projects and genealogies

  • Gendered spaces and politics of voluntary action
  • Strategies of self- and public-framing in voluntary effort
  • Cultural and gendered legacies of charitable and philanthropic engagement
  • Gender, the body and charity
  • Race, class and gender in charitable and voluntary projects

The workshop will end with an open discussion led by Daniel Weinbren (Open University) and Jo Laycock (University of Manchester) at which all attendees are invited to share and discuss issues raised throughout the day and within their own research.

Call for papers