Call for Papers

Networks are structures of relation, alignment, assembly, and linkage, however loose and asymmetrical their construction. They seem, first of all, combinative, their “work” deriving from or yielding to a common purpose or unifying theme. Along these lines, networks constitute structures of support or specific forms of exchange and solidarity, in essence bringing relations into being that can begin to exist across the norms and epistemologies of the status quo.

This focus on the productive aspects of networks, which often goes hand in hand with a celebratory discourse of accomplishments or injustices addressed, obscures another important question, however, namely, the extent to which networks operate on, or are, or can be, in themselves, maps of exclusion or expulsion. Clearly, networks, in particular networks devoted to a political agenda, often constitute themselves in response to exclusion (being barred from the right to vote, for example), setting as their goal the overcoming of boundaries by undoing lines of social, political, and economic division, such as suggested by stories of successful legal inclusion and gained rights. Is the thought of exclusion—at the limit, but importantly also within the idea of the network—not more fraught, though, once we consider who is allowed to appear, to speak, to stake a claim, and under what conditions; in short, who is allowed to exist within or vis-à-vis the network, and who is not, or only marginally so?

A variety of women’s networks, in particular, have long been held up as models for their sustaining, nurturing value and for their longevity over decades marked by political and social strife. Yet these relationships and organizations also often evidence lines of internal dissonance. During the long nineteenth century, an era marked by global socio-cultural shifts and political revolution, women forged inclusive and restrictive networks that enabled their objectives even as they refused to acknowledge the validity of others with conflicting goals.

With a focus on transnational women’s networks and networking in the long nineteenth century, this conference seeks papers examining how various organizations negotiate, or fail to negotiate, the uneven territories of their emergence. Where, and under what circumstances, are they not allowed to emerge at all? How do networks become aware of their own exclusivity? How do networks narrate themselves in view of lines of division and dissonance? What happens when emerging networks fall apart due to insuperable divisions? How do minorities negotiate their position within their own minority networks?

Proposals are invited on the following or related sub-topics:

Formal/informal/metaphorical/fictional networks of women involved with:

  1. breaking /erecting boundaries
  2. private/public life
  3. philanthropy /humanitarian causes
  4. the arts
  5. rights of (Wo)Man
  6. the world of work
  7. war / peace
  8. utopias
  9. publication markets/ (serial) publications
  10. the sciences

Language of communication: English

Format: 20 min. presentations + 10 min. discussion (no parallel sessions)

The Organising and Scientific Committees expect to publish a selected collection of essays in the peer reviewed journal of CEHUM, Diacrítica.

Please send an abstract of 250–300 words and a brief bio note to by July 1 (EXTENDED DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACT SUBMISSIONS: 15 of AUGUST). A notification will be sent by July 25.

Keynote Speakers

  • Ana Gabriela Macedo (Universidade do Minho, Portugal)
  • Ana Luísa Amaral (Universidade do Porto, Portugal)
  • Elizabeth Russell (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain)

Organising committee

  • Joanne Paisana (Co-ordinator)
  • Jaime Costa
  • Margarida Pereira

Scientific Committee

  • Ana Gabriela Macedo
  • Jaime Costa
  • Joanne Paisana
  • Julia Nitz
  • Jutta Gsoels-Lorensen
  • Margarida Pereira
  • Sandra Harbert Petrulionis

Convener: Department of English and North-American Studies (DEINA) and the Centre for Humanistic Studies (CEHUM).

Intercontinental Cross-Currents: Women's (Net-) Works across Europe and the Americas:



Deadline for submission of abstracts:


Acceptance confirmation by:

25 July 2016

Registration fee:

Normal: €50 | Student: €30 (without meals)

Normal: €100 | Student: €80 (with meals. Thursday dinner, Friday lunch and dinner)

The conference will be held at the University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, Auditório ILCH.

Transports  Accomodation  About the City


Please complete and submit this registration form by 30 September, 2016.

Payment to be made when registering, at UMinho, 3rd November, 2016.




Poster: JPG

Programme: PDF



Joanne Paisana :





Centro de Estudos Humanísticos
Universidade do Minho
Campus de Gualtar
4710-057 Braga

Phone number: (+351) 253 604 162