“Working women in pre-industrial Europe. Perspectives on the gendering of urban labour markets” (Leuven November 14-15)

Scholars have long been debating whether a decline in women’s economic agency took place from the Late Medieval or Early Modern period onwards and what its chronology looked like. Furthermore, historians have argued for a difference in women’s economic opportunities between southern and north-western Europe. Divergent juridical and demographic structures supposedly gave northern women more possibilities for agency than southern women. However, several case studies have shown deviations from these two models. This workshop aims to bring together scholars working on gender and work to compare different regions of Europe and various labour types, spanning both the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. In doing so, this workshop wants to discuss what factors shaped women’s work and wants to further the debate on women’s positions in urban labour markets, the impact of craft guilds, and the importance of gender on the informal markets.

Thursday 14 November 2019
11.00-12.30 SESSION 1
Chair: Andrea Bardyn (University of Leuven)
Romain Facchini (University of Aix-Marseille)
Women in trade: economy and agency in the South of Europe (Provence XVIIth-XVIIIth
Danielle van den Heuvel (University of Amsterdam)
Work, space and gender in the early modern city
12.30-13.30 LUNCH
13.30-15.00 SESSION 2
Chair: Maïka De Keyzer (University of Leuven)
Aske Laursen Brock (Aalborg University)
“To be employed in the Company’s work”: Women working with and against the English
East India Company
Nena Vandeweerdt (University of Leuven)
Women’s labour opportunities in Brabant and Biscay, 1420-1550
15.00-15.30 COFFEE BREAK
15.30-17.00 SESSION 3
Chair: Jelle Haemers (University of Leuven)
Charlie Taverner (Birkbeck, University of London)
From fishwife to barrow boy: gender in London’s street food trade, 1600-1750
Anne Montenach (University of Aix-Marseilles)
Working at the margins? Women and the cloth trades in early modern Lyon
Friday 15 November 2019
9.30-11.00 SESSION 4
Chair: Nina Lamal (University of Antwerp)
Heleen Wyffels (University of Leuven)
Women printers and the Antwerp guild of Saint Luke, 16th-17th centuries
Hadewijch Masure (University of Antwerp)
Women’s work in craft guilds, poor relief, health care and beguinages in the Southern Low
Countries in the 13th-17th century
11.00-11.30 COFFEE BREAK
11.30-12.30 SESSION 5
Chair: Violet Soen (University of Leuven)
Ariadne Schmidt (University of Leiden)
Early modern migration and work in a comparative gendered perspective
12.30-13.30 LUNCH
13.30-15.00 SESSION 6
Chair: Johan Verberckmoes (University of Leuven)
Sarah Birt (Birkbeck, University of London)
Fashion, retail and formal apprenticeships: women working at the Royal Exchange in early
modern London
Saskia Limbach (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz)
Working women in Germany’s printing industry
15.10- DRINKS (optional)

Room 02.10 – Mgr. O. Romerozaal
Collegium Veteranorum (109-20)
Sint-Michielsstraat 2-4 , 3000 Leuven

If you would like to attend the workshop, please send an e-mail to heleen.wyffels@kuleuven.be before 20 October. There is no registration fee.

Een pdf met het programma is beschikbaar hier.