3rd Conference of the Intercontinental Crosscurrents Network: Crosscurrents Conversation Series June/July 2021

CFP: Intercontinental Cross-Currents
“Transatlantic Women at Work: Service in the Long Nineteenth Century”
Virtual Conversations (June through July 2021)

The current dual crises of the global CV-19 pandemic and the (also global) renewed struggle for racial justice have turned our attention to women worldwide whose critically important service roles bring to mind and expand on their similar occupations in the long nineteenth century. Women comprise the majority of the workforce that has been deemed “essential” during the pandemic — from healthcare and social services to retail and other service sector jobs. Women have been disproportionately affected by the loss of employment, whether through involuntary lay-offs or voluntary resignation due to the need to provide “essential” care at home, most significantly as teachers of their now virtually-schooled children. Across various service horizons today, we also observe that women, especially those of color, continue as in the past to confront institutionalized discrimination, subordination, and marginalization.

Both this troubling contemporary reality and its historical precedents make clear the inherent ambiguity of women’s service. On the one hand, as Hannah Branch and Melissa Wooten have shown, service occupations may offer fields of action that enable new paths of social mobility for women; on the other, as with today’s virtual mother-teachers, such service often perpetuates domestic stereotypes, race conflicts, and class affiliationi, while also severely impacting career progression, lifetime earning potential, and ongoing emotional stress.

Studies on women and service largely focus on three main research areas: 1) women and domestic service, 2) women and service in an entrepreneurial context, and 3) women and military service. Kristina Booker, in particular, conceptualizes women in service as either engaging in such work from a humanitarian “spiritualized sense of ‘duty,’” or actually working for wages in a servant capacity.ii

Not as well examined, however, is the complexity of women’s service as an enabling or a disabling factor within a transatlantic context. Throughout the long nineteenth century, women in the transatlantic world were engaged in a range of service roles, including nursing, teaching, and reform causes. Many served in menial jobs with no glory or recognition, while some held leadership roles in various movements, such as antislavery, temperance, workers’ rights, woman’s rights, and community service. Several served openly with the respect of family and society, while other women were forced to disguise themselves in order to serve their chosen cause.

For a virtual workshop series, the Intercontinental Cross-Currents Network solicits considerations of the contributions of women in wide-ranging service roles in the transatlantic world during the long nineteenth century. We are interested in presentations that engage with the following broad topics:

Spheres of Service
● Women’s wartime service and aid to the resulting populations displaced by wars
● Red Cross Societies and their important role in women’s service

Politics of Service
● Service in which women covertly participated
● Social criticism directed at women who served away from home
● Women’s strategies to promote their serving publicly
● Colonialism and women’s service
● Rhetoric of separate spheres and women’s service
● Societal value of and respect for (or lack thereof) women’s service

Representation(s) of Service (literary and otherwise)
● Artistic representations of service (literary, visual, musical etc.)
● Effects of service on women’s writing, art, rhetoric, and other creative endeavors
● Intertextual notions of service in a transatlantic context
● Life writing

Intersectionality and Service
● Women and race in service
● Women, wealth, and class
● Service and shared space across class, national, gendered, or racial boundaries
● Women’s service as propaganda
● Notions of service in women’s, sexuality, and gender studies

Scholarship of Service
● Women’s service in historiography and narratives of women’s service
● Archives of women’s service
● Examples of women’s service that has gone unacknowledged or unidentified
● Advantages and dangers of looking at women’s history through the lens of service

These 90-minute conversations will take place via Martin Luther University’s virtual conference system, MLUConf, in June and July 2021 (specific dates to follow). The series will launch on Monday, June 7, at 11:30 am (EST) with keynote speaker, Jake Wynn, from the Missing Soldiers Office in Washington, D.C., whom we’re honored to welcome. He will discuss the humanitarian work of Clara Barton, who founded the American Red Cross in 1884.
We welcome panels, roundtables, and individual papers. For individual presentations, please provide a 300-word abstract; to propose a panel or a round table, please send a brief description of the topic and a 300-word abstract for each presenter. Email these materials to crosscurrents@amerikanistik.uni-halle.de by March 15, 2021.

Virtual conference organizers:
Laura-Isabella Heitz, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
Khristeena Lute, SUNY Adirondack
Julia Nitz, MLU Halle-Wittenberg
Sandra H. Petrulionis, Penn State University, Altoona

i Enobong Hannah Branch, and Melissa E. Wooten, “Suited for Service: Racialized Rationalizations for the Ideal Domestic Servant from the Nineteenth to the Early Twentieth Century,” Social Science History 36.2 (2012): 169–89. JSTOR. Accessed 11 Nov. 2020.
ii Jennifer Aston, and Catherine Bishop, Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century: A Global Perspective (Palgrave, 2020); Carmen Birkle, and Justine Tally, “Introduction: Waging Health –Women in Nineteenth-Century American Wars” European Journal of American Studies (2015): n. p. Web. 11 Nov. 2020; Janet Henshall Momsen, ed., Gender, Migration, and Domestic Service (Routledge, 1999); and Kristina Booker, Menials: Domestic Service and the Cultural Transformation of British Society, 1650–1850 (Bucknell UP, 2018), 4.

Latest Issue of Ariadne Forum für Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte

Ariadne. Forum für Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte 76/2020

Der Kongress tanzt – Nicht! Frauenkongresse als Orte der Kommunikation, Politik und Vernetzung
Link zu dieser Ausgabe // Link to this issue

Inhaltsverzeichnis // Table of Contents
Beiträge // Contributions

Dagmar Jank
»so inhaltsreich und interessant…«. Die Berichterstattung über Frauenkongresse und -tagungen in der »Frauen-Rundschau« des »Berliner Tageblattes«

Magdalena Gehring
Mobil und Visionär? Deutsche Akteurinnen in der internationalen Frauenbewegung im 19. Jahrhundert

Angelique Leszczawski-Schwerk
Polnische Frauenrechtlerinnen und inter/nationale Frauenkongresse. Über Agitationsstile, Patriotismus und die Inszenierung von Sichtbarkeit

Cordelia Scharpf
»Arbeit für Alle!« Die internationalen Frauenkonferenzen des »Verbands deutscher Frauenbildungs- und Erwerbsvereine«

Mona Siegel
To Meet or Not to Meet. Mending the Bonds of International Sisterhood after the First World War

Marion Röwekamp
Eine Familie, eine Nation(alität). Die Staatsangehörigkeit der verheirateten Frau auf den internationalen Frauenkongressen der Zwischenkriegszeit

Helke Dreier
Die interzonalen Frauenkonferenzen der Jahre 1945 bis 1949. Ein Spiegel der Beziehungen zwischen ost- und westdeutschen Frauenorganisationen?

Jessica Bock
Kongresse als Orte der (Wieder-)Vereinigung? Frauenkongresse nach 1990 in Deutschland

Anna Maria Schmidt
Organisation von Widerstand. Der Kongress „Frauen gegen Gentechnik und Reproduktionstechnik“ (Bonn, 19.-21.04.1985)

Heidi Meinzolt / Adelheid Schmidt-Thomé
Internationale Frauen-Friedenskongresse. Völkerverbindende Frauenarbeit

Annette Mevis
Das internationale Archiv für die Frauenbewegung. Atria in Amsterdam

Rezensionen/ Literature Reviews

Das neueste Heft der Zeitschrift Ariadne Forum für Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte ist erschienen. Inter/nationale Kongresse waren von je her von großer Bedeutung für die und in der Geschichte der Frauenbewegung. Ein Dreh- und Angelpunkt dieser Netzwerke waren (internationale) Kongresse.
The latest issue of Ariadne Forum für Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichtehas been published. International/national congresses were  of great importance for and in the history of the women’s movement. A central point of these networks were (international) congresses.

Diese haben immer zwei Richtungen – sie wirken nach innen und nach außen. Nach innen ermöglichen sie die Diskussion wichtiger Ziele und die Verständigung auf eine inhaltliche Linie, nach außen machen sie Werbung für die eigene Bewegung und ihre Anliegen. Wie wurden Frauen-Kongresse in der früheren journalistischen Berichterstattung behandelt? Was bedeuteten sie für die Internationalisierung der Frauenbewegung und wie wirkten sie sich auf nationaler Ebene aus? Diese Fragen bilden nur einen Ausschnitt der Ausgabe. Unsere Autorinnen verdeutlichen mit ihren Artikeln eindrucksvoll, dass Frauen sich aus den unterschiedlichsten Anlässen, oft unter schwierigen Umständen, im großen und im kleineren Rahmen, immer wieder zusammenfanden, ihre Anliegen diskutierten, sich vernetzten, um damit das, was Frauenbewegungen ausmacht, weiter zu tragen.
These always have two directions – they work inwards and outwards. Inwardly, they enable the discussion of important goals and agreement on a content-related line, outwardly they make advertisement for the own movement and its concerns. How were women’s congresses held in the previous journalistic coverage? What did they mean for the internationalization of the women’s movement and what effect they had on a national level? These questions are only one part of this issue. With their articles, our authors impressively illustrate that women have to deal with the most diverse occasions, often under difficult circumstances, on both a large and a small scale. They discussed their concerns and networked with each other, in order to be able to pass on the message of the women’s movements.

In der neuen Rubrik: Aus den Beständen und anderen Archiven wird das Internationale Archiv für die Frauenbewegung „Atria“ in Amsterdam vorgestellt. Das Heft wird wie üblich mit Rezensionen aus dem Bereich der Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte abgeschlossen.
In the new section: From the collections and other archives the International archive for the women’s movement „Atria“ in Amsterdam is introduced. As usual, the magazine is accompanied by reviews from the Women and gender history completed.

Redaktion der Ausgabe: Dr. Anja Schüler und Dr. Kerstin Wolff. Zu bestellen für 23 Euro zzgl. Porto über info@addf-kassel.de oder den Buchhandel.
Editors of the issue: Dr. Anja Schüler and Dr. Kerstin Wolff
Issues can be ordered for 23 Euros plus shipping via info@addf-kassel.de or bookstores.


Ariadne. Forum für Frauen- und Geschlechtergeschichte. Kassel.
ISBN 978-3-926068-29-3; ISSN 0178-1073

Laura Schibbe
Stiftung Archiv der deutschen Frauenbewegung Gottschalkstraße 57 D – 34127 Kassel
Tel.: +49 (0)561-989 36 70
Fax: +49 (0)561-989 36 72

Homepage <http://www.addf-kassel.de/publikationen/>

Weitere Informationen zu dieser Zeitschrift <http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/zeitschriften/id=6>

2nd Conference of the Intercontinental Crosscurrents Network, November 2016

The Dynamics of Power: Inclusion and Exclusion in Women’s Networks during the Long Nineteenth Century
Nov. 3 – 5, 2016, Braga (Portugal)
University of Minho/Institute of Arts and Humanities
Department of English and North-American Studies (DEINA) and the Centre for Humanistic Studies (CEHUM)

With a focus on transnational women’s networks and networking in the long nineteenth century, this conference seeks papers examining how various organizations negotiate, or fail to negotiate, the uneven territories of their emergence. Where, and under what circumstances, are they not allowed to emerge at all?  How do networks become aware of their own exclusivity? How do networks narrate themselves in view of lines of division and dissonance? What happens when emerging networks fall apart due to insuperable divisions? How do minorities negotiate their position within their own minority networks?

Call for Papers: The Dynamics of Power cfp



Panel at 2015 SSAWW Triennial Conference November 4-8, 2015, Philadelphia, PA. Liminal Spaces, Hybrid Lives

“Transnational Liminal Spaces:
The Construction of Womanhood in the Long 19th Century”

Chair: Sandra Harbert Petrulionis, Penn State Altoona

  1. Pia Wiegmink, University of Mainz, “Immigration and Womanhood in Nineteenth-Century German American Antislavery Fiction”
  2. Julia Nitz, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, “Intertextuality and Identity Formation in Southern Women’s Personal Civil War Narratives”
  3. Khristeena Lute, Middle Tennessee State University, “Re-Constructing Womanhood: Grace King’s Liminality in a Transitioning New Orleans”

See more

Conference Panel at 2015 TSA Conference

At the 14th Annual Conference of the Transatlantic Studies Association (TSA), held from 6 to 8 July 2015 in Middleburg, The Netherlands, three of our network members present their panel „19th Century Transatlantic Women’s Networks in Philanthropy and Benevolent Work.“ Chaired by Kristin Cook, the panel offers discussion on the following topics:

Joanne Paisana, University of Minho: Interwoven and Intercontinental Struggles: The Suffrage and Temperance Battles of Rosalind Howard, the Radical Countess

Pia Wiegmink, Johannes-Gutenberg-University: Female Odysseys: Discourses of Transatlantic Female Benevolent Work in the Works of Harriet Jacobs and Nancy Prince

Raffaella Baritono, University of Bologna: In and Out. Female Benevolent Societies and the 19th Century American State-A Transatlantic Perspective

Daniela Daniele, University of Udine: Lousia May Alcott’s Benevolent Tales and the Domestic Features of Victorian Feminism

See more

Inaugural Conference, December 2013

Intercontinental Cross-Currents: Women’s Networks across Europe and the Americas (1776-1939)
December 5–7, 2013, Lutherstadt Wittenberg

The conference will focus on the literal and metaphorical networks created and navigated by women from the American Revolution to the onset of the Second World War. We are interested in papers on a wide range of transatlantic themes, including the history of ideas, the migration of texts, identity formation, literary production and reception, feminism and emancipation, immigration, and social reform. How and in which forms did ideas, bodies, and texts travel across oceans and continents? How did women’s lives adapt and change as a result of such networks? What were the consequences of such intellectual and social engagements on the literary and socio-political milieus of these women? Which cooperative strategies enabled and emanated from such relationships? We especially invite participants whose projects focus on relations between women in the Americas and Scandinavia, and in eastern and southern Europe. In addition to examining the historical networks of our nineteenth- and twentieth-century predecessors, we anticipate establishing a global web of contemporary researchers engaged in transatlantic studies. At the conference, we will discuss future events and other venues for continued collaboration.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Jutta Gsoels-Lorensen (Associate Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University, Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA)

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Pisarz-Ramirez (Professor for American Studies and Minority Studies at Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany)

Organized by

Dr. Julia Nitz (MLU Halle-Wittenberg)

Dr. Sandra H. Petrulionis (Penn State University, Altoona)

Theresa Schön (MLU Halle-Wittenberg)


Hosted by
Prof. Dr. Erik Redling
Director, Center for United States Studies
Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


Supported by

Vereinigung der Freunde und Förderer der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg e.V.