What Do We Learn About War And Peace From Women International Thinkers?

Lecture format: on site + online.
Room: 2R-EG-07 (lecture hall of the Institute for Eastern European History).
Street address: Spitalgasse 2,  Campus of the University of Vienna, Hof 3.

Through the 20th century, war was the imperative that led to situations in which, as Patricia Owens has described, ‘women were at the forefront of geopolitical thinking … they wrote powerful analyses of war, the organized, reciprocal killing and maiming of people and destruction of things.’ That same women’s geopolitical thinking emplots the undulating arcs of analyses of peace in intersecting, transnational linguistic-cultural traditions. In this talk, Prof. Sluga's focus is specifically on 20th century texts that address war and peace by women thinkers categorisable as both international and ‘European’, drawing in accessible Russian-language examples. As she will try to show, the transnational European settings of international thought have been fundamentally entangled in Russian intellectual and political experience. My account samples not only the diverse locations of international thinking—from manifestos to pamphlets and newspaper articles to published tomes—but also, the privations women often faced in order to make their points—whether addressing the more conventional ‘women’s’ topic of peace, or the often more masculine controversies of violence and war. It illustrates the intersecting political and intellectual networks of activism and influence that colored the diversity and texture of women’s international thought in the 20th century, and the tradition of intertextual-referentiality that thinking generated. As this history sounds out the range and changing (gendered) registers of international thought, it also allows us to hear the diminished tones of peace as a defining imperative. This gender history remains relevant not least because of the way in which it all but ineluctably leads us to the question, what difference did women thinkers make?

Registration is requested only from those guests who would like to be connected via Zoom. Please feel free to visit the seminar without registration if you plan to take part live.