CfP: Transatlantic Women’s Networks: Cultural Engagement from the 19th Century to the Present

Call for papers, deadline 31 December 2022

The conference Transatlantic Women’s Networks: Cultural Engagement from the 19th Century to the Present aims to provide a space to unearth, discuss, map, and (re)situate networks and circuits of intellectual and cultural exchange among women across the Atlantic from the 19th century to the present. The conference will take place at Universidade Católica Portuguesa, in Lisbon, Portugal, on the 11th and 12th of May, 2023.

Traditionally, representations of sociopolitical, cultural, and artistic engagements have been dominated by male figures and national frameworks. However, from politics and gender to literary and cultural criticism, the role of women’s networks in shaping societies, literatures, and convivial relations across national borders has started to be resituated within these more traditional narratives both in and out of Academia. Particularly in the context of transcultural formations across the Atlantic, the role of movements and exchanges has become a central concern. Societies and cultural expressions have not only been deeply shaped by slavery and the slave trade, but also by less violent forms of migration, and productive dialogue. Women have played an important role here as well and made significant contributions to the cultural and social spheres. Arts, literature, translation, and criticism, in particular, have proved significant historical vehicles for women to foster convivial and transnational circuits of conversation and exchange, as well as intellectual, cultural and political rapprochement between countries and traditions.

The conference invites discussion on the potential of transatlantic women’s networks both historically and in the present moment. We want to honor subaltern, off-circuit, overlooked , and often-unrecognized contributions to cultural and social analysis that have the potential to reimagine, understand, and (re)situate the strategic position women have played in matters of gender, politics, and transnational affairs. How have women used conviviality and networking for sociopolitical, cultural, and artistic engagements across the Atlantic? What is the role of transatlantic networks for grassroots activism and alternative forms of resistance and circulation? How have historically transcontinental connections and exchanges between feminist thinkers impinged on current perspectives on gender, ethnicity, race, and class? What has brought women together as builders of communities and creators of knowledge? How do these transatlantic networks illuminate different geographic, temporal, cultural, and spiritual experiences? And what is the political impact of the host of vibrant, emerging peripherical actresses (indigenous, homosexual women, transgender etc.) in contemporary transatlantic networks, on and offline?

We welcome contributions from the fields of Cultural, Literary, Translation, Gender, Feminist, Archival and Memory Studies that focus on the works women have authored, published, directed, or have taken part in (novels, films, arts, correspondence), including non-alternative vehicles of transatlantic dialogue (newspapers and literary supplements, manuscripts, marginalia, journals, and postcards). These undiscovered, forgotten and often-times neglected vehicles have arguably functioned as incubators of experimentation in translation and artistic practice, cultural and literary criticism, and other forms of networking through which networks of conviviality with and among women across the Atlantic came into being.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

● Transatlantic conviviality and correspondence among women
● Memory, women, and imaginative transatlantic networks of exchange
● Archives, migration, and gender across the Atlantic
● Feminisms, women and the black Atlantic
● Race and gender from a transatlantic perspective
● Transatlantic activism, women’s agency, and survival
● Feminist-feminine writing across in the Atlantic
● Diasporic and immigrant women writing across the Atlantic
● Women translators, women in translation, translated women across the Atlantic
● Luso-Brazilian women revisited
● Indigenous, native, and spiritual feminisms across the Atlantic
● Women and transatlantic grassroots and institutional activism
● Sisterhood, female circles, and collaboration across the Atlantic
● Online activist female spaces across the Atlantic

Keynote Speakers

Paulina Chiziane, Writer and Essayist
Anna Faedrich, Universidade Federal Fluminense
Harris Feinsod, Northwestern University
Adriana Martins, Universidade Católica Portuguesa

Scientific Committee

Ana Paula Ferreira, University of Minnesota
Sheila Khan, Universidade do Minho
Verena Lindemann Lino, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Alexandra Lopes, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Inocência Mata, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa
Aretha Phiri, Rhodes University
Sofia Pinto, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Nelson Ribeiro, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Luísa Santos, Universidade Católica Portuguesa
Catarina Valdigem, Universidade Católica Portuguesa


We invite abstracts for individual and joint presentations using women’s networks as a lens for the analysis and discussion of cultural exchange or conceptualizing/problematizing their role across the Atlantic.

We also welcome abstracts for presentations and interventions that disrupt the traditional presentation format and academic ways of thinking and doing, including, but not limited to, artistic interventions and co-creative, performative presentations.

Abstracts should be sent to no later than 31th December 2022 and include paper title, abstract in English or Portuguese (max. 250 words), name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, and a brief bio (max. 100 words) mentioning ongoing research. Notification of acceptance will be sent by the 31th January 2022 at the latest.

After having been accepted, you will be asked to register for the conference and provide some personal details to that purpose.

The conference will take place in person, at Universidade Católica Portuguesa.


Registration fees
Early Bird Regular
Graduate/Student/Post-Doc 65 € 75 €
Senior Scholar/Researcher 70 € 100 €

*Fees include coffee breaks and conference materials.

The Organizing Committee may consider reducing or waiving a limited number of registration fees in case of documented financial difficulties. CECC researchers are exempted from the registration fee, but will still have to register.