Gender and Science in East-Central Europe

The history of science from the perspective of gender is slowly becoming an ‘equal rights’ sphere of historiography. This is reflected in both monographs of centres of knowledge production as well as in studies on the transformations of scientific disciplines taking place within the process of eliminating the homogeneous representation of gender. It can also be seen in theoretical concepts aimed at explaining the cultural construction of gender as well as the invisibility of women in scientific collectives. Science is seen, in the context of these research traditions, as a system of the organization and production of knowledge. The process of generating knowledge also encompasses systems of inclusion and exclusion, recognition, and representation. Science, both as a whole and within specific disciplines, appears (and not only in the historical perspective) as a field in which rituals are developed and shaped, strictly connected with masculinity and/or belonging to a group with a specific social standing. An examination of this interdependence between masculinity and the management of science can be useful in research into the mechanisms of exclusion.

      The 117th volume of Acta Poloniae Historica is devoted to the history of science as seen from the gender perspective.           

      Submitted articles may deal with both concrete historical and social phenomena, as well as methodologies of historical research into the relationship between science and gender. The themes of submitted articles should be placed within the proper regional and/or general European (or even broader within the transatlantic or global) context. Authors should draw attention to the cultural, economic, social or legal foundations of mechanisms of exclusion, as well as the phases of integration of women into science, and the accompanying changes in the role of gender in academia.

Submitted proposals should relate to one of the following issues: 

1. The theory and methodology of the history of science – which theoretical constructs formed the bases for its fields of research? To what extent are they of a supra-national or universal nature, allowing their application in a variety of scientific research contexts? And what place does East Central Europe occupy in the map of sub-disciplines within the field?

2.  Biographies and the methodological challenges associated there with, including the issue of how questions of gender have been dealt with in the writings on and research into scientists. In what ways are individuals and groups involved in the production of knowledge excluded from the narrative history of science? Have cultural constructions of gender determined (and/or do they determine) scientific careers? – and if so, to what extent? How does one write a scientific biography concerning a collective effort – for example within a marriage or a group of thinkers within a concrete discipline –from the gender perspective?

3.  Mechanisms of exclusion from or inclusion into scientific structures and hierarchies which metaphorically or symbolically describe the ways of erasure from or restoration into history? What are the elements of the culture of knowledge which have given rise to and allowed, from antiquity to the present, male domination in the academic world? What measures have been used to bypass bans, either in order to preserve or renegotiate the system of maintained values, ​​in the sixteenth to twentieth centuries?

4.  Migration as a factor of scientific development in the context of cultural gender. How – in the case of emigrating scientists – have such émigrés negotiated and defined their gender identity?

5.  Biographical narrations of deconstruction and reconstruction – examples of such new forms of narration concerning national or international heroes of science could include, inter alia, the re-creations of Maria Skłodowska-Curie or Lisa Meitner as pop cultural icons. To which other scientists, including from the humanities, could an analogous narration be applied? Is it possible to present the biographies of renowned women scientists using the instruments of ‘public history’?  Kindly submit a proposal (a maximum of 3000 characters), together with short biographical notes, in either Polish, German, or English, by 15 October 2017 to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The deadline for submitting accepted articles is 1 January 2018.