Focus 6: Gender and Europe

An Italian woman inspects the kilts of William MacConnachie and William Boyd in the Colosseum, Rome, June 6, 1944
Source: Imperial War Museums

Gender has much to do with Europe. Whether Europe is considered as a political space, a market, or a cultural area, relations between the sexes are a constituent element of both the definition of this space and the divisions within it. Research Area 6, dedicated to a gender history of Europe, explores these questions through two primary themes.

1. Thinking and constructing Europe, the effects of gender.
This theme takes into account gender difference in European political and societal projects, by exploring the effect women had on Europe (utopias and emergence of the idea of Europe, Europeanist movements, continent-wide networks…) and the effect Europe had on gender relations (imposition of gender norms, equality policies, the role of the European Court of Justice…). It will also examine gender in the context of European institutions and European wars, and the role it plays in the process of imagining and constructing a European space of peace.  

2. Being European and Experiencing Europe
It is also important to grasp the gendered dimensions of political participation, from the subject to the citizen (militant engagement, exercise of power, access to the right to vote, to representation…). This theme will analyze on a Europe-wide scale gender identities and relations (sexualities, family configurations, sexual violence), demographic behavior, and the politics of the body, and will also explore the working world and mobilities through the prism of gender.

Research Area 6 obviously has a cross-disciplinary relation to the LabEx’s other Research Areas, with numerous crosscutting connections.


Research Area Director: 

  • Fabrice Virgili is a Research Director at the CNRS, as well as Deputy Directory of UMR SIRICE.  He works on the effect of world wars on the relations between men and women. His research subjects include wars, violence and sexuality, the children born of French-German couples during World War Two, and marital violence. He is a member of the editorial committee of the journal Clio, Femmes, Genre, Histoire, and a member of the board of directors of the association Mnémosyne.

Postdoctoral fellow in charge of research: 

  • Isabelle Matamoros is a postdoctoral fellow in charge of coordinating Research Area 6. 

Steering Committee:

  • Anne-Laure Briatte-Peters, holder of a doctorate in Germanic Studies and History, she is Associate Professor in German History and Civilization at l’université de Paris-Sorbonne. She is part of the SIRICE’s “Mondes germaniques” research group (UMR 8138). Her research examines German feminisms during the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as gender in politics.
  • Delphine Diaz is Associate Professor at l’université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne. The holder of a doctorate in modern history, she focuses on political exile in Europe during the first half of the 19th century, and her postdoctoral project studies the links between gender and exile.
  • Valérie Dubslaff is a doctoral student in German civilization at l’université Paris-Sorbonne / SIRICE (UMR 8138), and in modern history at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. Her research explores gender and women in the political far right in Germany after 1945.
  • Anne Jusseaume
  • Julie Le Gac
  • Clyde Plumauzille
  • Yannick Ripa is a Professor of the Political and Social History of Europe during the 19th century with a focus on gender at l’université de Paris 8, where she organizes a research seminar on this subject, and directs the Gender research area for Equipe d’accueil 1571. She focuses in particular on the so-called peripheral subjects of women’s history (madness, violence, seduction), and the role played by gender in the construction of political models.
  • Régis Schlagdenhauffen is the holder of a doctorate in sociology and European ethnology, Associate Professor at l’Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS). His research is at the intersection of four fields: collective memory, life paths, gender, and sexual orientation. After defending a doctoral thesis in sociology in 2009, he obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the Thyssen Foundation at the Free University of Berlin, and then a postdoctoral fellowship from l’Institut Emilie du Châtelet at SIRICE.
  • Anne Salles is Associate Professor in German Civilization at l’Université Paris Sorbonne, and associate researcher at l’INED. She focuses in particular on demographic questions in Europe.
  • Françoise Thébaud is Professor Emeritus in Modern History at l’Université d’Avignon, and co-Director of the journal Clio, Femmes, Genre, Histoire. Her research explores, from a gender perspective, the subjects of war, social and political citizenship, feminisms, and the writing and epistemology of history. Currently an associate at l’Institut des études Genre at l’Université de Genève, she is writing the biography of Marguerite Thibert (1886-1982), an International Labor Organization civil servant who was committed to pacifism, socialism, and feminism.

Contact: genreeurope[at]

Research notebook :