Conference: GenderSpaces

Gender and space are intertwined categories of analysis but have so far been historicised rarely within contemporary history. The planned conference therefore deals with gendered practices of appropriating space in the second half of the 20th century and looks at disciplinary spaces, labour and space, spaces of (queer) appropriation, space and leisure and contested spaces in a variety of regions and countries.

Organized by: Annelie Ramsbrock (Department of History/University of Greifswald), Ronny Grundig, Laura Haßler, Elisabeth Kimmerle, Annalisa Martin, Juliane Röleke (all Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History Potsdam), 14467 Potsdam (Deutschland)
06.10.2022 – 07.10.2022

In the course of the ‘spatial turn’, research recognised spaces as socially produced (but nonetheless materialised), capable of much more than just housing people, animals or things. Spaces influence actions and behaviours and are at the same time the result of them, because they are circumscribed by them, arranged and given meaning.

Within the discipline of history, such a social constructivist conception of space has so far been used primarily to focus on nation-based spaces, urban planning concepts or transport routes. Ordinary everyday practices, patterns of social relations or personal experiences, on the other hand, have only been marginally examined in terms of their relation to and dependence on space. Work that connects processes of subjectification to how space is experienced is also largely still to be done.

Important impulses for such a perspective on space come from gender studies. The field has long been able to show, across epochs, that conflicts over space have been fought out decisively within gender relations, because gender-related opportunities for social participation correspond to gender-specific allocations of space (private and public). The realisation that gender and space are not categories that can be thought of independently of each other, but that they condition and confirm each other, has so far only to a limited extent been historicised within contemporary history and applied to the history of everyday life.

This is the point of departure for the planned conference, where we will deal with gendered practices of appropriating space in the second half of the 20th century, specifically with situations in which spaces were produced, reproduced, changed and experienced in a gendered way. At the same time, we are concerned with the significance of space for gendered processes of subjectification and – this seems to us to be particularly profitable – related counter-reactions or resistance. Accordingly, we are guided by the questions of how space is gendered by social actors and what meanings it is given, but also what structuring effects previous spatialities have had on actors. Intersectional perspectives are explicitly included in this framework, as particular experiences of discrimination inevitably challenge how space is experienced.

Please contact and if you wish to register for the conference.

Thursday, October 6 2022

Welcome and Opening Address
Ronny Grundig (Potsdam), Laura Haßler (Potsdam), Annelie Ramsbrock (Greifswald)

Panel I: Disciplinary Spaces

Moderator: Désirée Schauz (Potsdam)

Juliane Röleke (Potsdam)
Public Shaming: Paramilitary „Punishment“ Attacks against Women in 1970’s Northern Ireland

Friederike Faust, Klara Nagel (Berlin)
Gendering Spaces of Punishment: Reforming (West) German Women’s Prisons in the 1980/90s

Benjamin Roers (Gießen)
Concepts and practices of animal training in the circus in the 20th century

Commentary: Maren Möhring (Leipzig)

14.00–14.30h Break

Panel II: Labour and Space

Moderator: Ronny Grundig (Potsdam)

Martyna Miernecka (Warschau)
Sitting and working. Gendered practices of women!s writing in the House of Creative work (Poland) 1945–2015

Christoph Lorke (Münster)
Spatial Extensions in Westphalia: (Migrant) Women, Work and Social Inequality in Gütersloh (1970s–2000s)

Oxana Eremin (Paderborn)
Re-discussing “Semiotics of the Kitchen” (1975)

Commentary: Brigitta Bernet (Zürich)

16.00–16.30h Break

Panel III: Spaces of (Queer) Appropriation

Moderator: Henrike Voigtländer (Potsdam)

Julia Noah Munier/Karl-Heinz Steinle (Stuttgart) Spatial practices as practices of subjectivation – homosexual men in West Germany post 1945

Andrea Rottmann (Berlin)
Writing Histories of Queer Urban Spaces: Some Methodological Suggestions from the Case of Berlin

Eike Wittrock (Graz)
Sex theater in St. Pauli, 1970. Stagings of Gender and Sexuality

Commentary: Peter Rehberg (Cincinnati/Berlin)

Friday, October 7 2022

Panel IV: Space and Leisure

Moderator: Juliane Fürst (Potsdam)

Selda Tuncer (Van)
Cinema as Gendered Public Space: Women’s Cinema-Going Experiences in Turkey, 1950–1980

Tatyana Bakhmetyeva (Rochester)
Doing Politics in Nature: Hunting, Masculinity, and Soviet Diplomacy under Khruschev

Annika Stendebach (Gießen)
„No Country for Young (Wo-)men” – Irish Youth and their lack of social spaces in the 1960s and 1970s in Ireland

Commentary: Peter-Paul Bänziger (Basel)

11.30–12.00h Break

Panel V: Contested Spaces

Moderator: Stefanie Eisenhuth (Potsdam)

Elisabeth Kimmerle (Potsdam)
Politicizing the Private – Counseling Centers for Turkish Women as Contested Feminist Spaces in the 1980s in West Berlin

Laura Haßler (Potsdam)
Cementing patriarchy: Westgerman private nuclear shelters in the 1970ies and 1980ies

Annalisa Martin (Potsdam)
Managing commercial sex on city streets: Hamburg and Cologne, 1960–1980

Commentary: Hubertus Büschel (Kassel)

Closing Remarks

Annelie Ramsbrock

Laura Haßler