Review of Women’s History at the Cutting Edge. An Italian Perspective, edited by Teresa Bertilotti
- Giulia Strippoli
- Práticas da História – Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past
- Issue 12
- Language: English
- DOI: https://doi.org/10.48487/pdh.2021.n12.24972
- ISSN: 2183-590X
The book is one of the outputs of a series of international encounters of scholars in the framework of the topic “Women’s History at the Cutting Edge”, launched by Karen Offen and Chen Yan. A roundtable in Jinan, Shandong Province, in 2015, and a symposium in Rome, in 2018, have been occasions for debating several themes concerning the achievements of women’s and gender history (WGH) over the past two decades, the relationship between women’s history and historical studies, and that between gender studies and critical studies of colonialism, empire and racialisation. In 2018, a book edited by Chen Yan and Karen Offen with the same title (but without the subtitle “an Italian perspective”) was published by Routledge. These two scholars also published the article “Women’s History at the Cutting Edge” on Women’s History Review. These references are included here for purposes of bibliographical clarification, and to underline the articulation of the debate and the global interest on the issue in recent years.
As explained in the introduction, the topic – the Italian road toward the institutionalisation of women’s studies – has developed through vivid confrontations (also expressed in antithetical stances) and scholars have long since reflected on the achievements and weaknesses of women’s history. Indeed, in 2003, Anna Rossi-Doria – to whose memory the book is dedicated – asked “What’s the status of women’s history in Italy?”, underlining the coexistence of two contradictory processes: on the one hand, the scientific acknowledgement and self-legitimation of women’s history, and, on the other, the lack of consensus on the place this field occupies within Italian academic contexts.
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