In historical research, different roles of sexes / genders in society have long been debated. In the study of economic and business history, gender has become a more prominent topic only relatively recently. Therefore, the economy and its agents in the past still appear very masculine. Outside women´s work and labor market participation, the role of women in the economy and, more generally, the impact of gender on economic opportunities and performance have only begun to find their way as objects of historical research. When a gender perspective has been applied to economic and business history research, many interesting recent findings have been made about how gender roles have affected both men and women's economic opportunities, either by limiting or enabling action. Additionally, many established assumptions have been challenged: it has been shown how women were active participants in the early modern credit markets as lenders, borrowers, savers and investors and played an important role in family businesses. Similarly, women were also politically active and aimed to secure their own economic interests in the political arena. What these studies have in common is to overcome the problem of silence in the original sources telling about female economic agency.
The theme of the 2020 Annual Gustav Vasa Conference is Gender and Economy. It is through this conference that we aim to further promote this debate about gender in the economy. We welcome presentations on a wide range of topics addressing any era, region, and economic and business history theme or labor history from a gender history perspective. We encourage but do not limit participants to consider what the role of gender in the economy has been at different times, in different societies and communities, and what have been the opportunities and barriers for men and women as economic actors.
The keynote lectures will be given by Professor Anne E. C. McCants (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States) and Pirita Frigren PhD (University of Turku, Finland).
Proposals (both individual papers and three to four-paper panels) are welcome until March 15, 2020. Decisions on papers submitted will be made and sent out on April 17, 2020. Proposals can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. A proposal for an individual paper should be 200-400 words and for panels in total 300-600 words including the headings of each paper.
The conference has a participation fee.
The organizing institution is the Department of History and Ethnology at the University of Jyväskylä. The members of the organization committee are:
Miia Kuha (University of Jyväskylä), Maare Paloheimo (University of Jyväskylä), Riina Turunen (University of Jyväskylä), Merja Uotila (University of Jyväskylä), Heli Valtonen (Chair, University of Jyväskylä)
The Gustav Vasa conference, named after the Swedish King Gustav Vasa (1496-1560), has been organized since 2003 at the Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä. The conference and its annually varying topics have brought together a large group of scholars to discuss their top research interests in the summery Lake District of Finland.
Riina Turunen, PhD., researcher
Department of History and Ethnology, University of Jyväskylä