04 April 2016

BOOK: S. VANDENBOGAERDE, B. DEBAENST, S. DHALLUIN, H. DUFFULER-VIALLE & I. LELLOUCHE (eds.), (Wo)Men in Legal History [Acta of the XIXth European Forum of Young Legal Historians]. Lille: Université Lille 2-Centre d'Histoire Judiciaire, 2016, ISBN 2-910114-33-3. € 30

(image source: CHJ)

The acta of the XIXth European Forum of Young Legal Historians (Ghent University, Legal History Institute/Université Lille 2, Centre d'Histoire Judiciaire) have appeared (CHJ Éditeur). Eighteen papers address various papers presented at the conference back in 2013.

Book abstract:
From May 15 to May 18, 2013 the French Centre d’Histoire Judiciaire (Université Lille 2) and the Belgian Instituut voor Rechtsgeschiedenis (Ghent University) organised the nineteenth European Forum of Young Legal Historians. During three days, more than sixty young researchers from all over Europe and beyond gathered around the theme (Wo)Men in legal history, a subject allowing them to think about women and men in legal history from various scientific angles. The gender concept has become essential in human and social sciences, providing another way of analysing and interpreting society. Masculinity and femininity can thus be seen as a social construction based on biological sex.
Two main questions needed an answer: can law, from an evolutionary and dynamic point of view, be seen as a way of reducing differences between men and women? What is the role and place of both genders in legislation and legislative bodies, in justice administration and judicial bodies, as well as in legal science and education, both as subjects and objects?
The aim of this book is not to take part in any militant ideology but to consider dispassionately the various scientific ways of the construction of femininity and masculinity. The importance for legal historians is obvious: to think about law as an instrument of subordination and/or way of social change, which can enrich studies about the juridical evolution of societies. Legal rules can be important tools of social engineering in a very explicit way, but, also implicitly every legal system mirrors the cultural role of gender. This book answers the call issued by historians to rethink the dominant narratives of law producing and reflecting cultural and social norms. It challenges legal historians and other scholars to use a gendered approach to law.

Table of contents:
S. Vandenbogaerde, (Wo)Men in Legal History: possibilities and challenges for gendered legal historical research.

Gendered Symbolism
•    S. Huygebaert, Justice: Man-judge or earthly mother? Femininity of Justice and her sisters of virtue in Belgian fin-de-siècle legal iconography.
•    R. Silbernagl, Kuss, Mann, Frau, Recht. Skizze zum Lehenskuss im hochmittelalterlichen Deutschland.

Gender & crime: victims and offenders
•    C. Lehne, Sexual relationships and sexual crimes in classical Roman law.
•    E. Bonnaud, Le procès et l’exécution de Marie Stuart, Reine d’Écosse (1586-1587).
•    B. Rodriguez-Arrocha, Women and justice in the Canary Islands during the Ancient Regime: A projection of the female roles?
•    D. Nunes, Woman, revolution, law: The expulsion of Olga Benario Prestes before the Brazilian Supreme Court (1936).

Gender in the private sphere
•    T. Karlovic & I. Milotic, Polygamy among soldiers in the shadow of monogamy in Roman Law.
•    C. Dariescu, How to beat your wife? Regulations on domestic violence in 17th century Moldavia and Walachia.
•    P. Pomianowski, The beginnings of secular divorce in Poland. The Napoleonic Code in the practice of Polish Courts.
•    G. Mecca, Fatherhood cannot be demonstrated. The investigation into paternity in Italy (1865-1922).
•    S. Maslo-Cerkic, Women between family and law: a study of Muslim women’s legal status in Bosnia and Herzigovina under Austro-Hungarian Rule.
•    E. Blücher, How women got full legal capacity in Norway. The act of 1863 and 1888.

Gender in the public sphere
•    A. Skalec, Men and women as neighbours in Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt (331 BC-641 AD)
•    F. Dhondt, Bring this mad woman to reason! Elisabeth Farnese as a female ruler in 18th century Europe
•    C. Schmetterer, Die rechtliche Stellung der weiblichen Mitglieder des hauses Habsburg
•    K. Csazar, Objectives of the Hungarian Women’s movements in the age of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy (1867-1918)
•    E. Fiocchi, A life lived in the shadow of her father and her husband: Grazia Mancini Pierantoni and the rights of Italian women
More information on the publisher's website.

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