German Studies Association
Annual Conference, October 1-4, 2020, Washington, DC
“The Difference that Makes a Difference:
Gender in Swiss History, Culture, Politics, and the Law”
Open Call for Papers, sponsored by the Swiss Studies Interdisciplinary Network of the GSA for its annual conference in Washington, DC, October 1-4, 2020.
Switzerland, an early and deeply democratic nation with a high level of direct citizen participation in political processes, long had a difficult time extending full political rights to women. These rights were granted only in 1971. Although women have made tremendous progress in the half century since then, gender issues run long and deep in Switzerland. They have shaped private and public lives for both sexes far beyond the question of suffrage.
This panel seeks proposals from a broad range of disciplines on the topic of gender issues in Switzerland, including comparative treatments across national borders. Such inquiries could include but do not need to be limited to topics such as:
- Switzerland’s national self-understanding as a Sonderfall;
- historical aspects of women’s suffrage and how the country finally achieved it;
- progress made since 1971, and remaining gender inequalities;
- feminism(s) in Switzerland, historical and contemporary, and feminist strategies for empowerment and equal rights;
- women’s contributions to the arts, film, literature, politics, and the sciences;
- the position of women in the economy, in the political system, in civic and private life;
- demographics of gender: marriage, birthrates, employment, salary, etc.;
- compulsory male military service and its influence on gender roles and gender appreciation;
- the persistence of a heroic-military idea of masculinity;
- the representation of gender in literature, film, the arts, media, and the public sphere;
- the durability of rural and Heimat symbolism in Swiss self-representation and its influence on gender roles;
- the legal status and treatment of women.