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English Department

The Feminist Enlightenment across Europe

With this project, I am returning to my interests in the history of feminism and the relation between the sexes. It commenced with an international conference (5.-7. July 2018) at Würzburg University that explored the ways in which both female and male writers across Europe addressed the question of women's participation in cultural, intellectual, and political life, and the extent to which this debate was – self-consciously or not – part of the project of the Enlightenment. How enlightened was the European Enlightenment regarding the legal, political, social, religious and cultural calls for equality between the sexes, a prerequisite for the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ to be transformed into an ‘enlightened age’? The proceedings of this conference were published in 2020 as a special number of the journal Aufklärung. The second conference, in what is going to become a series of events, took place in September 2021 at the University of Zurich and assembled 18 papers by international scholars on the topic of “Women, the Law and Women’s Rights”, to be published in the new book series The Feminist Enlightenment across Europe. The series features monographs, essay collections and critical editions of historical texts that engage with the extent to which and the ways in which different strands of the European Enlightenment between 1650 and 1800 discussed feminist issues and demands. Two volumes have appeared by now, a collection of critical essays by Ina Schabert: Die Gleichheit der Geschlechter. Eine Literaturgeschichte der Aufklärung and a bilingual edition of Anne-Marie du Boccage’s epos La Colombiade (1756).

Weiterführende Informationen

Isabel Karremann

Prof. Dr. Isabel Karremann

Early Modern Literatures in English