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Deadline: 15 January 2020
Special Issue Call for Papers
Gender, Feminism, and Business History: From periphery to centre
Gender relations represent one of the most significant social issues of modernity, profoundly affecting both women and men’s educational, economic, and political lives. Feminist theory and activism during the last two centuries is the highest profile marker of this, shaping our understanding of gender relations by focusing on equality, social justice, discrimination, inclusion/exclusion, and latterly the intersection of gender with race and ethnicity. The established territory of business history is the global north, after the mid-19th century, focusing on industrial production companies. Despite the changes provoked by feminism and greater recognition of the material and symbolic importance of gender relations, business history as a field maintains a largely gender-free and feminism-free centre. This special issue is designed to change that, by bringing both gender and feminism from the periphery of business history to its centre.
Gendered analysis of business history is a considerable field, but perhaps the most prominent challenge it has mounted to date is to the straightforward narratives of great men founding and building large organizations. The simple ‘great man’ narrative may still be a significant staple of the research undertaken in the field, but it is only one possible approach among many. There is empirical and conceptual space for other, very different, narratives of business history and the history of business.
This special issue is the first in this field for almost a decade to be dedicated to gender and business and/or organizational history. With it, we want to create a space for research that brings gender and feminism to business history’s centre, to provoke further dialogue and debate about alternative frameworks for research within and beyond the issue itself. We expect contributions to accomplish either or both of the following aims:
- To explore the significance of feminist theories and gender in advancing the analysis and understanding of women in particular as business owners, entrepreneurs, or as funders, silent partners, and designers supporting more visible business activity by men;
- To advance understanding of women and men working or living on the margins of the established territory of business history - i.e. outside of the global north, before the mid-19th century, outside of established industries, and as critics of masculinised ways of doing business.
In order to develop these broad aims, and in keeping with the aims of Business History, contributions to the Special Issue might explore (but are not limited to) the following topics:
- What source materials and archives might offer a more complete understanding of women and feminism in business history?
- What are the implications of changes occurring in the archive profession, and other developments such as the increase in feminist archiving?
- How can gender and feminist perspectives shed new light on the historical analysis of social structures including social, economic and political systems as well as power?
- How can gender and feminist perspectives inform business history not only from a Western perspective but also from other perspectives including outside of the Anglo-American bubble i.e. Latin America, Africa and Asia?
- How can gender and feminist perspectives inform business history before the 19th century?
- How should the corporate archive and the firm, in particular, be interpreted when thinking about gender, feminism, and business history?
- What changes to research questions, methods, or narratives, are necessary to enable women and feminism to be more effectively written into business histories as full participants?
- How can we account for the role that women played in creating the opportunities e.g. as funders, silent partners, or as designers for ‘great men’ to dominate business histories?
- How can business history contribute to the conceptual development of key feminist analytics such as sexism, patriarchy, or misogyny?
- How would a gendered analysis of business history classics contribute to our understanding of them? For example, what would a feminist re-reading of Alfred Chandler’s work tell us?
Contributions are expected to build on the rich empirical, analytical, and methodological traditions in this journal and in the field more generally. We would very much welcome contributions from scholars located beyond business and management Schools, interdisciplinary work, and from scholars geographically located outside the global north.
- This call is open and competitive. All submissions will be peer reviewed following the standard practice of the journal.
- To be considered for this special issue, submissions must fit with the Aims and Scope of Business History, as well as this call for papers.
- The guest editors will select a limited number of papers to be included in the special issue. Other papers submitted to the special issue may be considered for publication in other issues of the journal at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief.
- This special issue welcomes all contributions that address the broad themes described above. All submissions should be based on original research and innovative analysis.
- For empirical papers based on sources or data sets from which multiple papers have been generated, authors must provide the Guest Editors with copies of all other papers based on the same data or sources.
- The maximum submission length is 10,000 words (including graphs and tables).
- Submissions must not be under consideration with another journal.
- The submission deadline is 15 January 2020 via ScholarOne, using the drop-down menu to indicate that the submission is to the Special Issue on Gender, Feminism, and Business History.
- Please ensure that your manuscript fully complies with the publishing style of formatting regulation of Business History as per their 'Instructions for authors'
- Authors may be asked to use an English language copyeditor before final acceptance.