Women and the History of International Thought

March 2018

The history of international thought and the disciplinary history of international relations (IR) are currently thriving. However, in both fields there is a noticeable lack of engagement with women thinkers. This exploratory seminar seeks to overcome this neglect, initiating an international and interdisciplinary conversation on the diverse and significant contributions of women thinkers of the international. Bringing together junior and senior historians and scholars of international relations, the seminar will be structured around three core themes with a specific focus on the early to mid-20th century period, formative years in the founding of the academic discipline of IR. First, we seek to account for and understand the erasure of diverse women thinkers in both the history of international thought and the disciplinary history of IR. Second, participants will examine some of the alternative settings, languages, and occupational fields in and through which women thought and wrote about the international, including Jewish émigrés and refugees, elite and working class women, and Euro- and African Americans. Third, participants will examine the substantive intellectual contributions of specific women thinkers, assessing their implications for a number of pressing issues in contemporary international politics. The interdisciplinary and international conversations emerging out of this seminar will potentially transform prevailing understandings of what counts as the history of international thought, the history of internationalism, the disciplinary history of IR, and feminist international theory.

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