The Europe of Women

The international conference The Europe of Women was held on 26 and 27 November 2015 at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Its aim was to explore the gender dimensions of the research theme “Europe and its Worlds,” jointly developed by the Faculties of Arts and of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies of Radboud University.


The conference looked at the representation of women in/of Europe (in travelogues and television series, but also in the professions, institutionalized churches, historiography, and canonized Christianity), their practices (as patrons, book collectors, writers, scientists, politicians, spokeswomen, etc.), and the effects thereof. Themes addressed in the conference ranged from female book ownership, women’s travelogues, and female detectives, patrons, politicians, and scientists to forgotten, invisible and misrecognized women, the unequal outcomes of gendered life scripts, women’s secular and religious activist groups and communities, and the gendering of anthropometrical practices and data. By looking at “Europe” from a gender perspective, the conference aimed to throw new light on the concept of Europe, foster the integration of the gender dimension in research content, and achieve closer national and international cooperation within the Humanities.

Keynote speakers

  • Philomena Essed - Beyond Cultural Cloning: Reclaiming Care and Social Justice in Higher Education
  • Siep Stuurman -European Identity and the Gendering of Progress
  • Dubravka Ugrešić - Women of Europe

A complete overview of the speakers and the titles of their presentations can be found in this pdf (pdf, 114 kB).

Side activities

To reach out to audiences beyond academia, several side activities related to the themes of the conference took place.

  • In LUX an evening was devoted to female detectives in film and television series, with a film screening and an introduction by Anneke Smelik, professor of Visual Culture at Radboud University.
  • Art project On the contrary by Marlieke Overmeer ( 64 tea-cosies were shown from a different perspective. The old-fashioned tea fair, which symbolizes motherly nurturing and security, was literally dismantled by Nijmegen artist Marlieke Overmeer. The result and meaning of each tea cosy van be found in the picture book,On the contrary.
  • Music by Ensemble Fantasticus, The Baroque Music of Women with pieces by François Couperin, Marin Marais, Tobias Hume, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre en Barbara Strozzi and Ensemble Cambiato, Je veux vivre.