Women, land and power in the European Empires

Eugénia Rodrigues (Centro de História da Universidade de Lisboa)
Mariana Cândido (Notre Dame University)
Sala 44, Piso 1
Friday 19 July, 11:30-13:15, 14:30-16:15

Short abstract:

European, mestizo and native women became important actors of the imperial societies. This panel aims to explore the dynamics associated to the relationship between land, women and power in the spaces related to European empires.

Long abstract:

The European expansion led to major changes in the social order of the world areas affected by imperial dynamics. Women became important actors of the imperial societies, not only European ones but also mestizo and native women. However, it must be considered that the roles played by women were socially constructed, therefore, the women's agency ranged among empires and through time. This panel seeks to explore the dimensions of the relationship between women, land and power in European empires. The women's access to land varied greatly in imperial spaces, according to the European homelands rules as well as those created by local dynamics. In some colonies, women had high opportunities to possess and administrate land, which gave them influence and power. This panel aims to discuss questions such us: How European rules and practices about land's possession, inheritance and administration were reshaped in imperial territories? What role did access to land play in the social and geographical mobility of women? How the possession of land did underlie the influence and power of women? How did families and society understand the women access to land? How did imperial dominion affect the relationship between women and land in native societies? We seek for papers that consider any of these dimensions of the women role in the European empires, focusing empirically-grounded case studies, as well as discussing methodological and theoretical framework. We encourage proposals about any territory affected by the dynamics of the European empires, whether within its political boundaries, whether beyond them. (Would like two sessions.)