Disciplining the Modern Family: Gender, State, and Society Tel Aviv University January 2018

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Tel Aviv University


Call for Papers

for an international workshop titled


Disciplining the Modern Family: Gender, State, and Society


The Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities

The Zvi Yavetz School of Historical Studies


January 2-4, 2018


With the rise of the modern nation-state, the interest in the family as an institution and in

its functions in modern life expanded as well. Rulers, bureaucrats, revolutionaries,

writers, and readers all looked to mobilize families and individual family members to

their goals. Approaches to the family varied greatly: some perceived it as the

torchbearer of traditional values and practices that must be protected from new

perceptions of self and society; others saw it as a site for the promotion of social and

cultural reforms. The family was presented as the solution to all kinds of problems, from

issues of health and sexuality to questions of controlling populations, winning wars and

maintaining and enhancing economic production. Gender was an essential part of every

approach to the family, as each of these approaches entailed a different understanding

of masculinity and femininity and their role in society. Such approaches did not stop in

the borders of the nation-states, particularly with the rise of modern imperialism,

colonialism and migration. Around the world, men, women and children continued to

live, produce and reproduce in families, but the form, meaning and uses of their families

changed dramatically from generation to generation. Family forms and practices

became the markers of culture and served to distinguish between identity groups. Thus

the family became a site for conflicts, on the individual, communal, national and

international levels.

The workshop will convene a small group of younger as well as established scholars

who deal with these issues based on their individual research in varied historical

arenas, from Europe and the Americas to the Middle-East, Africa, South and East Asia.

Participants will pre-circulate their papers, and all workshop participants will read and

comment on them. A specific discussant will also comment on each paper.

We invite proposals for original and integrative papers from all geographic areas, on

themes such as:


Tel Aviv University

● How states attempted to shape and reshape families since the 18th century?

● The construction and disruption of gender roles within the family

● The family in a transnational and global framework – family and empire, families

beyond borders

● Motherhood, fatherhood and their changing meanings

● The roles of children in the family

● The nation/state as a modern family

● How masculine domination is reinforced and challenged via the family?

● The relationship between family, gender, and class

● Alternative families and alternatives to the family

● Changing notions and practices of love and sexuality within the family

● Family and work, the family as an economic unit

● Family and religion

● Changing legislations of families

● Families and war

Proposals should include:

(1) Name and affiliation

(2) Title and a short abstract (150-200 words)

(3) Brief CV (1-3 pages)

Proposals, as well as further inquiries, should be sent by email to the workshop

secretariat: (familyworkshop2018@gmail.com)

The deadline for submitting proposals is 15 June 2017.

Accepted proposals will be notified by 15 July 2017.

Full papers (up to 7,000 words) are due by 1 November 2017.

The organizers will cover airfare cost (economy class) and four-night accommodation in

Tel Aviv. The workshop will be conducted in English. It is open to the public and

participation is free of charge.

We would be grateful if you could distribute this call for papers among your colleagues.

Prof. Billie Melman (bmelman@post.tau.ac.il), Prof. Iris Rachamimov

(irisrchmmv@gmail.com), Dr. Sivan Balslev (sivanb@vanleer.org.il), Mr. Matan Boord


Workshop’s secretariat: familyworkshop2018@gmail.com