20 January 2020

CONFERENCE: Separated Beds – Interwoven Property: Divorce in Context 1600-1900 (Vienna, 15-16 May 2020) (DEADLINE: 28 February 2020)

We learned of a call for papers for a conference on separation consequences (in family law) during the period 1600-1900. Here the call: 

Location: Austria, Vienna
Venue: University of Vienna
Hosted by: OeNB research project “Separated beds - Interwoven Property: Regulation of Separation Consequences since the 16th Century”, in cooperation with the Faculty of Historical and Cultural Studies and the Department of History of the University of Vienna.
Date: 15.05.2020 – 16.05.2020
Deadline: 28.02.2020

Call for Papers

Until the introduction of civil marriage, marriages in all European territories could be entered into and separated only in accordance with the conditions of religions and denominations respectively. Today the divorce of civil marriage is common practice in European societies. The fact that religious marriages regulated by faith communities could be divorced is still not widely conveyed. The historical studies that appeared in recent years make it clear that religions and denominations respectively differed as to the type of divorce they allowed, what divorce grounds they recognized, and whether they gave the divorced spouses the right to remarry. Divorced Catholics were forbidden to enter into a new marriage until the death of their husband or wife. On the other hand, the matrimonial property regime was partly independent of religion or denomination, and thus also the regulation of the divorce consequences, which depended particularly on local traditions until civil codes were passed.

Depending on the historically different divorce possibilities and the density of the remaining sources, the documents produce in the context of marital conflicts and divorces open up a wide field of research: With the exception of uncontested divorces, it is possible to analyze how plaintiffs and defendants argued in court and what arguments judges recognized or rejected as divorce grounds. The certificates submitted and witnesses mentioned allow one to reconstruct the relationship networks of the wives and the husbands. Divorce settlements and civil proceedings regulating the divorce consequences indicate who received custody of children, how the property of the couple was divided and how maintenance was regulated. They provide insight into the ways the couple had made a living and how the divorced spouses intended to make a living in the future. Recent studies show that the economic position of women varied greatly depending on the prevailing matrimonial property regime and the marriage contract which was agreed upon. Especially in regions with community of goods, it was often the women who, as daughters or widows, brought a house and farm or a trade and business license into the marriage. The sources thus allow conclusions to be drawn on the property and wealth of women and show the variety of trades and occupations pursued by women before and also after marriage, which are usually beyond the reach of historians. Recent studies have also indicated that divorce -  independent of denomination or religion – was not, as was long suspected, limited to married couples of the higher social strata, but was practice in all levels of society.

The conference will examine the norms divorce-(un)willing spouses of the various denominations and religions were faced with from the end of the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. At the same time, we are interested in how these norms were negotiated in practice – before Protestant and Catholic consistories, before rabbinic or Sharia courts, and also before secular courts.

The broad range of possible links to the topic of the conference includes issues of (social) regulation in the access to marriage, transfer of goods during and after marriage, and issues of how married couples and divorced spouses made a living. Studies investigating the options for and the living conditions of divorced men and women are also welcome.

Keynote: Maria Ågren, Married Women’s Property and Work, Uppsala University

Please send your proposals for papers (approx. 1 page/300 words) together with a short academic CV by 28 February 2020 to:

Univ. Prof. Dr. Andrea Griesebner
BA MA Isabella Planer

We are pleased to be able to take care of the hotel and the food during the conference. We ask for your understanding that the travel expenses can be refunded only in exceptional cases.

More info here

No comments: