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War Welfare and Gender Politics in the First World War in Local and Global Dimensions


Local cooperation partner: Assoz.-Prof. PD. Dr. Heidrun Zettelbauer, Institut for History
Junior Fellow: Mag. Viktoria Wind

Incoming Senior Fellow: Prof. Ingrid Sharp, University of Leeds, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies (UK)
Incoming Junior Fellows: Chantal Sullivan-Thomsett, Louise Earnshaw

Zeitraum: January 2021 to December 2022
Symposium: 9./10. December 2021 


The project deals with gender politics in local and global dimensions during the First World War. A particular focus is on welfare and war welfare and the associated gendered rhetorics and practices. The aim is to analyze discourses on gender, war and violence, their patterns and political functions. The focus lies on processes of de- and restabilization of gender in war and their connection to discursifications of (war-)violence.

In terms of content, an arc is spanned from the study of explicitly politically positioned female actors (peace movement, women's suffrage movement, etc.) to the analysis of explicitly anti-democratic war welfare policies under the direction and with the participation of protagonists from the German-national or Catholic-conservative milieu. In particular, specific negotiations of gendered concepts of citizenship are central.

Spatially, regional contexts (Habsburg Monarchy, German Empire) are discussed as well as global aspects of the topic. The First World War, as the first "global" and first "total war", lends itself to exploring the ways in which experiences of war and violence fundamentally affect the cultural constitution of societies and the role gender plays in this.


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