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Louise Fabian

Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy and History of Ideas, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University

During her Carlsberg Monograph Fellowship, Louise Fabian will be working on the project 'Gender in History, Theory and Activism'

Project description

The research project delivers a comprehensive historical mapping of changing paradigms and concepts in feminist theory and gender analyses, and through a spatializing of history traces and discusses both paradigmatic and more overlooked stations in the historical development of global gender history and of changing feminisms. 

The Project contributes to the study of the role of activism, socialmovements and everyday life in the creation of historical and social change, but also in the development of theory. Feminisms, women’s movements and later LGBT and Queer movements have not only made substantial impacts upon different societies and cultures in many places across the world but have also influenced the very way we define gender, epistemology, science and the writing of history.  By studying gender movements – and their shifting connections to a wider context of e.g. worker’s movements, anticolonial struggles, peace movements, anti-racist movements and climate movements – we will gain valuable insights into how gender activism has contributed to both the protest repertoires of other social movements and to the development of theory, historiography and epistemology. The dissertation will illustrate how the processes and theories we use to define and explore social movements and everyday resistance are in themselves political acts and part of the politics of knowledge construction. 

Through a spatializing of history, and by shedding light on the history of women’s agency and feminist consciousness in times, places and practices that are often overlooked in traditional gender history writing. The project will e.g. explore the roles of e.g. nunneries, midwifery, nursing, literature and education, in creating alternative spaces for the construction of intellectual self-representation, political subjectivity and solidarity also in a times before organised social movements and struggles around modern political rights. Through this approach, we can gain an understanding of alternative formations and forms of political subjectivity, political solidarity and history. The global case studies will explore how feminist theories and movements emerge from regional knowledge and political strategies appropriate to regional contexts, and contain a diverse set of struggles closely related to other forms of structural inequality, such as slavery, discrimination, global injustice, anticolonial struggles for independence and climate justice. 

Project title: Gender in History, Theory and Activism

Area of research: History of Ideas 

Fellowship period: 1 Sep 2023 - 31 Aug 2024

Fellowship type: Carlsberg Monograph fellow

This fellowship has received funding from The Carlsberg Foundation under the monograph fellowships.