Call for papers

[…] insze są zabawy męskie, jako uczyć, rządzić, kupczyć, żołnierką służyć, a insze białogłowskie, jako prząść, szyć, wyszywać, haftować.

[…] different are male’s amusements, that means to teach, to rule, to trade, to serve in the army, and different are women’s, that means to mill, to sew, to cobble, to broider.

Sebastian Petrycy from Pilzno (1554-1626)

The Historical Institute of the University of Wroclaw hereby invites scholars and PhD students to join us for the international conference: Against Conventions. Uncommon Social Roles of Women and Men from Early Modern Times to 1945 to be held in Wroclaw, November 30th – December 1st, 2017. The organizers propose to use tools which the category of gender gives in humanistic and social studies. However, we would like to overcome present tendencies to separate studies related to women or men. We hope that during the meeting it will be possible to capture mechanisms occurred while undertaking tasks which were contrary to social norms from both „feminine”, and „masculine” perspectives. We are aware that definitely more women  struggled with social boundaries. Nevertheless, we consider the reflection on men’s experience, who also faced such challenges, as equally important.

We encourage experienced researchers, young scholars, as well as PhD students to focus on the following issues:


  •  methodology of gender studies,
  • difficulties and obstacles in studies on social roles,
  • current state of research regarding social roles,
  • new themes and research perspectives;


  • uncommon actions taken by women/men,
  •  circumstances under which one might/was forced to play  an untypical role, traditionally assigned to the opposite sex
  • motivation to act against the formulaic schemes,
  • strategies for action,
  • factors determining success/defeat;


  • behavior and emotions of people who were undertaking activities characteristic for the opposite sex,
  • “import” of attitudes resulted from traditional tasks in family and society to “new” roles,
  •  reproducing models of behavior characteristic for the opposite sex,
  •  attitudes of people performing typical roles towards these women or men who were  taking actions against the conventions,
  •  mechanisms  related to crossing the boundaries from comparative perspective (in different countries and cultures)


  • division into „feminine” and „masculine” roles and changes in their perception,
  • attitudes towards women/men acting differently to adopted standards; consequences of the progressive emancipation of women,
  • characteristic of groups and individuals who tried to combat stereotypical thinking about roles of women and men in society: their strategies, motivation and results of actions,
  • who, for what purpose, by what methods and with what result tried to retain status quo  in division into „feminine” and „masculine” social roles.

The aforementioned issues indicate the main directions of discussion, nonetheless we encourage to submit other proposals related to the main theme of the conference.