Call for Papers: “The History of Medialization and Empowerment: The Intersection of Women’s Rights Activism and the Media”

Final Meeting of the International Standing Working Group on Medialization and Empowerment, 20-22 January, 2022

Convenors: Christina von Hodenberg and Jane Freeland (German Historical Institute London) ǀ Partners: Max Weber Stiftung India Branch OfficeGerman Historical Institute Washington DCGerman Historical Institute RomeOrient Institute Beirut

This conference is the culmination of a three-year project examining the networks, interconnections and dependencies of women’s rights and the media throughout the long-twentieth century. Focusing on the history of feminism(s) as a lens into changing practices and ideas of women’s emancipation, this conference calls on participants to reconsider the role of the media in shaping, constituting and directing discussions and attitudes towards gender roles and women’s rights internationally. How has the printed press, television and radio advanced or hindered women’s emancipation historically and in a global context? How have feminists used the media to create counter-spaces for advocating, discussing and debating women’s issues? And what are the limits or ambivalences of discussions of women’s rights in the media?

In asking these questions, we draw on the concept of medialization, a term that refers both to the way spaces of communication have become increasingly dense and interlinked over time, and also to the increasing pressure for other social sectors to conform to the conditions imposed by the media. Using this framework, the conference asks what medialization has meant for women’s emancipation in the past: in what ways did the media set the agenda for debates of women’s rights? And what space was there for activists to influence or shape these discussions?

We invite applications from interested scholars working in history and on historically-focused projects in sociology, anthropology, media and cultural studies, and gender studies to attend a two-day conference exploring the connections between the media and the history of feminism in a global context. We particularly welcome applications from PhD candidates and Early Career Academics.

The conference will be held from 20-22 January, 2022, in either an online or hybrid in-person/online format at the German Historical Institute in London. If attending in-person, economy travel will be reimbursed and accommodation provided for successful applicants. The conference language is English and participation will be structured around discussion of common readings, presentations and keynote lectures. Successful participants will be invited to submit pre-circulated think pieces of approximately 1500-words and give a short presentation based upon their own research, the shared readings, and the themes of the working group.

Applicants are asked to submit a one-page CV and a 200-250 word abstract situating their paper within the themes and issues of the conference to Dr. Jane Freeland ( by 14 May, 2021. All applicants will be notified by 30 June, 2021. 

This conference is part of the international project “Knowledge Unbound: Internationalisation, Networking, Innovation in and by the Max Weber Stiftung.” It is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Cite this blog post
Max Weber Stiftung (2021, April 6). Call for Papers: “The History of Medialization and Empowerment: The Intersection of Women’s Rights Activism and the Media” Wissen entgrenzen. Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

Max Weber Stiftung

The Max Weber Foundation promotes global research, focused on the areas of social sciences, cultural studies and the humanities. Our research is conducted at ten institutes in various countries across the globe with different and independent fields of focus. Through our globally operating institutes, we are able to contribute to the communication and networking between Germany and our host countries or regions. By promoting academic dialogue and merging academic and non-academic employees from several countries with different cultural backgrounds, the Max Weber Foundation is able to strengthen the internationalization of research.

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