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Circulating Gender in the Global Enlightenment: Ideas, Networks, Agencies


Research on the role played by women as actors and by gender as a cultural category has crucially contributed to historiographical revision of the Enlightenment and its legacy to the modern world. However, the perspective adopted has been national or, if comparative, mostly radial. A leap forward is urgent because current circulationist approaches to the Enlightenment tend to forget its key gender dimension and to underplay contributions from Southern Europe. This projects offers, for the first time in the field, a systematic,truly transnational and transatlantic approach, which knits together cultural, intellectual, gender and postcolonial history, literary, philosophical and visual studies. It looks at the cultural transfer of gender notions in global perspective around five axes: translation, learned sociability, travel, reading and sensibility, to be explored through textual and iconographic analysis and archival research. Adopting the vantage point of Spain and its empire will allow to question approaches based either on the “national context” or the centre-periphery dichotomy, to reassess the role of the Catholic Enlightenment in the making of modernity and to highlight the mediating roles played by local actors, male and female, in processes of sociocultural change.
CIRGEN’s specific objectives are: to challenge dichotomous visions of Enlightenment discourses of gender by stressing their plural (and often conflictive) contribution to modernity; to decenter customary radial perspectives by stressing multilateral dialogues both within Europe and beyond; to better understand the role played by gender in the cultural geography of Enlightenment, particularly in the construction of the South/North symbolic divide; to produce empirically grounded evidence of the practical and iconic role of women in the making of modern reading publics; to foster innovative scholarship on the gendering of emotions in defining national identities and moral standards of civilization.



Net EU contribution
€ 2 499 415,00
Avenida blasco ibanez 13
46010 Valencia

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Este Comunitat Valenciana Valencia/València
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)