Research Centre for Humanities

Women Writers Research

DARIAH group Women Writers in History

The tasks of the DARIAH Working Group Women Writers are as follows:

  • reinforcement and enlargement of a network created over the last decade thanks to NWO, COST and HERA;
  • further development of a VRE allowing large-scale research in women’s literary history;
  • encouragement of new research initiatives in this field, both individual and collaborative, focusing upon women’s authorship and reception;
  • reflections upon use and interpretation of the data provided by as yet unexplored sources;
  • service for – academic and other – teaching, and encourage students to use the online VRE as “their” tool;
  • preparation of initiatives for crowdsourcing and citizen’s participation in the field of women’s literary history;
  • maintenance of contact with members of other institutions in women’s cultural heritage and relevant networks such as WINE (Women’s Information Network of Europe).

Slovenian group is one of the organizers of a conference Teaching Women Writers: exploring NEWW VRE possibilities (Ljubljana, November 16, 2017) and will host the workshop and meeting of this WG (November 17-18, 2017).

HERA project: Travelling Texts 1790-1914: The Transnational Reception Of Women’s Writing At the Fringes of Europe

Participating countries: Finnland, Norway, Slovenia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom
Slovenian team: Katja Mihurko Poniž, Aleš Vaupotič, Tanja Badalič

This HERA-funded collaborative research project studed the role of women’s writing in the transnational literary field during the long 19th century. It explores in terms of gender cultural encounters through reading and writing that contributed to shaping modern cultural imaginaries in Europe. The systematic scrutiny of reception data from large-scale sources (library and booksellers’ catalogues, the periodical press) forms the basis for the study of women’s participation in this process. By tracing and comparing the networks created through women’s writing from the perspective of five countries (Norway, Finland, Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands) located at the fringes of 19th-century Europe we question the relations between centre and periphery from a gendered point of view. The project thus contributes to the development of new, transnational models of writing the history of European literary culture.
The use of shared digital research tools is central to the implementation and coherence of this project. Building on the database WomenWriters and the experience of the COST Action Women Writers In History, a Virtual Research Environment will be developed, providing not only advanced technology for statistical analysis, charting and visualisation, but also the possibility to work together in the virtual space. Parts of it will be open to the public, which allows interested user communities to engage with our research. Outputs will include a conference, peer-reviewed articles and book publications. Enhanced online publication will directly link to the research data. These activities will be complemented by workshops and seminars organised together with our two Associated Partners, Chawton House Library (UK) and Turku City Library (Finland), sessions at international literary festivals in Norway and Slovenia inviting writers to meet their ‘foremothers’, and exhibitions.

From the final evaluation of the project:

More data are available now than ever before thanks to the engagement with digital humanities. The digital tool that was developed is available for all researchers and is set up in a way that others can keep adding to it. I imagine this provides a very useful service to the field.
The analyses have given rise to new insights about cultural history. Specifically, it brings literary history in line with current thinking in other Humanities domains, especially regarding the way in which contact and dynamism leads to change.

COST Action IS0901: Women Writers in History – Toward a New Understanding of European Literary Culture

The main objective of the Action was to create a strong collaborative international Research Network and to produce a Road Map outlining future systematic collaborative research in European women’s literary history. The historiography of literature needs renewal. In particular women’s contribution to European literary practice can and must be accounted for in a much more adequate way than current literary histories do. This COST Action laid the foundations for an innovative European-scale approach to this problem. The neglect of women as cultural agents is indeed an international phenomenon, directly relating to gender inequality in modern societies. International cooperation is needed in order to change things and demonstrate that women’s growing presence, since the Middle Ages, prepared the way for their massive entrance into the “literary field” (Bourdieu) during the 20th century. Using recent theoretical insights (Moretti, Hutcheon, Valdés) and new technological means, the Action prepared avenues for collective research by organizing a strong network of European (and other) researchers. Slovenian Team organized the symposium “Women’s Authorship and Literatures of Small Countries in the 19th Century” which investigated the role and place of women authors within “smaller” culture es, and their connections with their female counterparts in “larger”, dominating cultures. The colloquium linked the world of books with the academic world. Symposium was organized in the context of Ljubljana World Book Capital 2010, 22-23 September 2010.

Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and STSM-Manager of this Action, based at Huygens ING The Hague (NL):
Suzan van Dijk,
Vanda Anastacio,
Marie-Louise Coolahan,
Henriette Partzsch.

Working Group leaders:
WG 1: Viola Parente-Capkova and Biljana Dojčinović,
WG 2: Marie-Louise Coolahan,
WG 3:Alicia Montoya and Marie Sorbo,
WG 4: Gillian Dow and Katja Mihurko Poniž.



HERA project: Travelling Texts 1790-1914

HERA project: Travelling Texts 1790-1914

HERA team

Cost action “Women Writers in History”

Cost action, Ljubljana, 23rd September 2010

Cost action, Galway, 24th January 2013