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Cohn Institute, TAU
Tuesday, the 18th of June
Terms and conditions: wars as opportunities for women scientists (09:30-11:20)
Opportunities for female scientists in Ljubljana (Slovenia) after World War I and World War II
- Zeljko Oset
Recent research suggests that women had better professional recognition in new scientific disciplines and, to some extent, in institutional positions in times following the collapse of political order. After World War I, a new university in Ljubljana was established, and after World War II the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) went through substantial changes mimicking the example of Soviet Union; at SASA were established new and numerous scientific institutions that offered new opportunities for young professionals, including for female doctoral candidates, scientists and assistants. Although female scientists were a minority and had to struggle with gender stereotypes, they made important advances in the academic community. In paper, it will be presented discourse in the (Slovenian) academic community concerning the role of the female professors at the University of Ljubljana in the period between 1919 and 1960, and at SASA in period between 1945 and 1960 as well as discourse that presents the role of the archetypal scientist and his position in the socialist order, with particular emphasis on the perceived incompatibility of female scientists between academic careers and deciding on family with children.
The Ecole Normale Superieure de Jeunes Filles during WWII : Facing contingencies and preparing the post-war period
- Anne-Sophie Godfroy
The Ecole Normale Supérieure has been a major provider of women academics and scientists in XXth century France. WWII was a turning point in the history of the “Ecole Normale Supérieure de Jeunes Filles”, merged since 1985 with the male ENS. The ENSJF faced major transformations during WWII. If the history of the male ENS during WWII is very well documented (notably by Sirinelli (2005), Les Etudes et la guerre: Les normaliens dans la tourmente 1939-1945), the history of the female ENS is less known despite its interest for the understanding of the shaping of the French post-war period scientific landscape. The paper will present the reform of the curriculum towards research and academic studies, the war contingencies and the loss and protection of students and former students, the involvement of women scientists in the Resistance and the post war scientific organization. During the thirties, the ENSJF struggled to obtain the same curriculum as the male ENS. The female curriculum was aimed at secondary school teaching, rather disconnected from the university and the school was located in Sèvres, near Paris, which implied difficulties to attend regular lectures at the Sorbonne University. Progressively, the ENSJF obtained the alignment of male and female curricula, the regular attendance to university lectures as a part of the regular teaching and the participation to research labs. In the meantime, the few girls who passed the male entrance examination were allowed to become students at the male ENS. Between 1921 and 1939, 32 girls entered the male ENS. The curriculum equality was reached in 1939, just at the beginning of the war and the installation in Paris was already planned. At the same moment, in spring 1940, France was occupied by Germany with the school buildings in Sèvres were occupied. The school had to move in emergency to Reid Hall in the Latin Quarter, where Columbia University, the owner of Reid Hall, kindly welcomed students and teachers during the war, but the universities also moved to other parts of France. Even if wartimes have been very chaotic, WWII has accelerated the move to a Paris permanent installation, allowing regular attendance to university activities and research activities at the male ENS labs. The loss and the protection of students, former students and professors was another major issue during the war as many students were of Jewish origins. The school succeeded in hiding and helping many of them, and many former students became members of the Resistance. As heads of secondary schools, many alumnae had to choose between collaborating with the Nazis against the Jewish female students or resisting the pressure, and they chose to resist. Madeleine Michelis is a famous case of women academic in the Resistance, and she is not an isolated case. The organization of the school was permanently disrupted by moves of students and teachers moving across France or beyond to try to escape the Nazis. Despite too many losses, thanks to a strong solidarity, the community of “Sèvriennes” survived the war and was able to provide many university professors and researchers in the post-war period. The opening of many new universities in the sixties and the creation of the CNRS offered them many opportunities for academic and research careers. We will present some portraits of interesting or typical trajectories.
Female scientists and their resistance against the Nazi regime
- Annette B. Vogt
During the long-durée investigation of female scientists at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes and the Berlin University, we found out only very few male and female scientists who were strictly against the Nazi regime, from the very beginning, or later (Vogt (2007), pp. 383-411). Eight out of 710 female doctoral students at the Berlin University and only very few scientists in the Kaiser Wilhelm Society were involved in different resistance activities. Kurt R. Grossmann (1897-1972), the General Secretary of the German League for Human Rights from 1926 to 1933, dedicated his book of “unsung heroes” to the “humanitarians who practiced humaneness under the most dangerous circumstances.” (Grossmann (1961), p. 11) Among them were some male and female scientists who became resistance fighters. Very differently was the situation for emigrées who participated in resistance movements or in the army of the Allies against the Nazi’s during WW II. First, I’ll sketch out the situation for scientists under the Nazi regime in Germany, the circumstances becoming either an active Nazi, or being opportunistically and building one’s career, or following their mind and heart and becoming one of the very few people to resist. And I’ll sketch the situation for scientists who had to emigrate and were living during WW II. Second, I’ll describe different activities of resistance, various resistance groups and their actions, in Nazi Germany as well as in countries during WW II. Female and male scientists were involved in “war activities” as it was called by the SPSL in 1947. Third, I’ll illustrate some examples of these different resistance activities of female and male scientists. All had in common their great courage, they maintained severe discipline, they were ingenious to help persecuted people and comrades, and they used their special knowledge and capacity to fight against the Nazi’s at all places. Although they belonged to a very small minority, it should be the duty to investigate their activities.
From the Science Corp in the 1948 War to the Weizman Institute of Science: The Careers of Two Israeli Women Scientists in War and Peace
- Pnina Abir-Am
From the Science Corp in the 1948 War to the Weizmann Institute of Science: The Careers of two Israeli Women Scientists in War and Peace. Dr. Pnina G. Abir-Am, Resident Scholar, WSRC, Brandeis University, MS 079. Waltham, MA. 02454, USA; (firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: 1-781-736-8119; Mobile: 1-617-283-7464) Abstract: (800w) for the 6/24-26/2019 Meeting of the International Commission for Women in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, Open University & Tel Aviv University, Local organizer: Nurit Kirsh. (email@example.com) This talk follows the war and peace trajectories of two chemistry women students who served during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence in the newly created IDF’s (Israel Defense Forces) Science Corps. Science students serving in the Science Corps assisted mostly in the production of munitions. (e.g. parachute flares, photo flash bombs, crackers, etc. U. Bachrach, 2009,ch.13) Military service in war time was not unusual for women in Israel in the late 1940s since during WW2, thousands of pre-state Israeli women (and men) volunteered to serve in the British Army, then fighting against Nazi Germany and its Allies for control of the Middle East. (A.Granit Hacohen 2017) However, women served mostly in auxiliary services such as communication, transportation, and the Medical Corps. Though the IDF was modelled after the British Army, it also incorporated practices of the underground movements which sought to speed the end of the British Mandate, and allowed women to participate in their operations. In the Science Corps most soldiers performed as scientists, with a few only filling command roles. Indeed, in our case study one woman (Pnina Elson) participated in the war as a scientist and the other as commander of a group in charge of making flare mines. (Ora Kedem) Once peace arrived in 1949 in the form of Armistice agreements with all the neighboring Arab countries which participated in the 1948 War, (E. Ben Dror, 2015) both Ora (1924-) and Pnina, (1919-1924) whose studies were interrupted by the 1948 War, (when their campus on Mt. Scopus was lost) continued their graduate studies at the Weizmann Institute, in Rehovoth, obtaining the Ph.D. in in biophysical chemistry in 1953 and 1956, respectively,. (E. Katzir 2009) Though the early 1950s were difficult times, the Weizmann Institute was very adept at fund raising overseas, to the effect that an IUPAC meeting, held for the first time outside Europe and hosted by the Weizmann Institute in 1956, impressed attendees from 22 countries with its advanced research. (P.G. Abir-Am 2009) During post-doctoral studies at Columbia University in New York City, in the lab of Erwin Chargaff of DNA fame (the discoverer of the DNA base-ratios, P.G. Abir-Am 1980, 2008) Pnina met Dave Elson, Chargaff’s favorite Ph.D. student. Following Dave’s arrival as a post-doc at the Weizmann Institute, Pnina and Dave married and became a collaborative couple in RNA research. Their research is considered foundational for the Nobel Prize of Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute, in 2009, which she shared with scientists from US and UK, for the discovery of the ribosome structure. A lecture hall at the Weizmann Institute is named after the late Pnina & Dave Elson; Their son followed in their footsteps at the Weizmann Institute. 2 Following her post-doc at the University of Leyden, Holland, Ora became the youngest recipient of the Israel Prize, together with her former Ph.D. adviser A. Katzir, for their pioneering studies of biological membranes, in 1961. By then she and her husband Avi, a security expert, whom she met on joint gender guard duty during the war, were raising two children. Ora also became a pioneer of the high tech industry around the Weizmann Institute, having acquired many patents in the membrane area. Eventually she shifted her activities to the University of the Negev (now Ben Gurion University) in the arid south of the country, where she spearheaded desalination and water purification programs. She is also known as a science policy figure with special impact on promoting collaboration between Israeli and Central European scientists. In coming to assess the relative impact of war and peace on the careers of these two women scientists, one notes that both were able to pursue life long careers. One (Pnina Elson) did so as a member of a collaborative couple, who remained more proud of her American born scientist husband than of herself. Yet, the joy of working together fits well with the ethos of the Science Corps in which women and men did both science and guard duty jointly. Ora became more of a leader in science and industry, though she credited her leadership not to the 1948 War but to her surviving the sinking of a refugee ship, at age 16, when she dragged nonswimmers to the shore. Thinking about how war and peace affected the careers of Ora & Pnina, women scientists from the post-WW2 generation, I was inevitably led to reflect on how war, another war, not the 1948 war, affected my own career. Though “my war” was the “best war” ever, (compared to 1948 casualties were few) in its aftermath, science studies seemed not just boring but no longer the only dream one could ever have. There is no doubt that leaving science for history of science, though an overdetermined outcome for good reasons, also had roots in one’s experience of war and peace.
Scientific narratives: Biographies of women scientists (11:50 – 13:20)
Bacteria and gender in war and peace: the transitions of Emmy Klieneberger
- María J. Santesmases
The Second World War created, in addition to the tragedy of the Holocaust, and habitually related to it, particular conditions for research. Penicillin was a product of the war itself in whose testing, production and manufacturing many women participated. The transition from war to peace showed penicillin being used not only to heal but also at the laboratory bench to investigate its action against bacteria. Bacteria thus changed as well, becoming microorganisms able to be defeated by chemical compounds in addition to its participation in the manufacturing of vaccines and sera – while incorporating war terminology into the narratives of its successful activity. From her research post as a bacteriologist at the Städtische Hygienische Universitätinstitut in Frankfurt to the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine in London, Emmy Klieneberger was an agent in this transition, which she experienced doubly as a Jewish woman and as a woman bacteriologist. She was expelled from her post in Frankfurt by the Nazi authorities in 1933 and travelled to England to find work as a researcher. In London, the Academic Assistance Council (AAC) helped her meet the director of the Lister Institute, and the British Federation of University Women (BFUW) offered her lodging. At the Lister Institute she worked in the beginning without a salary, but she was soon awarded the Jenner Memoria Scholarship. During World War II, she developed there her research on the changing shapes of bacteria, a phenomenon she studied also in peace times, when the war was over. Klieneberger studied those until then unknowns of changing bacterial shapes and their resistance to the action of antimicrobials at the origins of the biomedical studies on a type of microorganism known as mycoplasmas. I will tell a story of her transitions -geographical, disciplinary and of bacteriological practices -, in which war, peace and gender intervened.
Changing Narratives of Marie Curie: between War and Peace
- Tuvaal Klein
My presentation will deal with the different narratives in the principal biographical works about Marie Curie, which constructed her public image in three pivotal moments in time, between peace and war. I shall discuss these narratives, the historical context of their formation and the visual images which helped establish them. These narratives, shaped by historical circumstances and political interests, changed both throughout her life and after her death. Marie Curie's feministicon status was established in the period between the two World Wars and changed thereafter. Considering the impact that the Wars had on society at large, I suggest that examining changes in gender relations and the conception of the scientific enterprise, could help understand the shifts in the narratives. The three pivotal moments discussed are: a. 1923, between two World Wars: construction of the "martyr to science" narrative present in her autobiographical notes to the biography she wrote about her husband Pierre Curie. b. 1936, the eve of the Second World War: further enhancement of this narrative by the biography Madame Curie, (Eve Curie), which also emphasised her motherhood. c. 1943, during the Second World War: Madame Curie, the biopic loosely based on Eve Curie's biography, comes out, presenting Marie as a beautiful, loving wife.
Libuše Jansová - the first professional woman archaeologist in the Czechoslovakia
- Marsela Stracova
At the beginning of the 20th century women succeeded only in rare cases in the Czech archaeology. In my contribution I would like to introduce the first professional woman archaeologist in the Czechoslovakia, Libuše Jansová (1904-1996). L. Jansová studied in the archaeological seminar at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague since 1924, where she graduated in 1928. For a long time, she was the only woman archaeologist in the Czechoslovak archaeology. The other women archaeologist succeeded no sooner than after the WWII. During her studies she worked as a scientific assistant in the National Museum. In 1929, she began to work in the State archaeological Institute in Prague. In 1928-1929, she led the first archaeological excavation of the deserted medieval royal castle in Kunratice near Prague. In 1930 in the State Archaeological Institute, she laid the foundations of the Archive of Excavation Reports. After the WWII, she focused on the research of La Tène period settlement and in the years 1951-1963, she led the first systematic archaeological excavation of the La Tène settlement in Hrazany. After finishing this large project, she started another one, excavation of the La Tène oppida at Závist by Zbraslav (1963-1973). Libuše Jansová became our best expert in the field of the La Tène period settlement research in the Czecoslovakia.
Gender and Emotion: Between Life and Death (14:45 – 16:15)
Gender and War in Early Psychological Testing
- Annette Mulberger
During the fretful years of the early 1920s in Spain, critical voices became stronger, demanding an end for the war in Africa. At that time, also psychological testing spread and gained popularity. One of the first psychologists working with this technique was Mercedes Rodrigo Bellido (1891-1982), a teacher who had received psychological and psychotechnical training at the Rousseau Institute in Geneva. In 1922, while working with Claparède, she undertook together with her colleague and friend Pere Roselló, a very innovative psychological survey. They sent out a questionnaire in which they asked boys and girls from Madrid about their attitude with regard to war. The analysis of the responses was done from a quantitative and qualitative point of view, grouping and categorizing the different arguments and positions with regard to gender and social class. My research will focus on questions such as the following: how were the different attitudes explained in psychological and political terms by these researchers and why did the opinions and attitudes of children matter? The Rodrigo and Roselló’s research was influenced by the spreading of new pedagogical movements and the scientific exchange between scholars working at the Psychotecnical Institutes in Barcelona and Madrid with colleagues in Geneva, more precisely, pedagogues and psychologists from the Rousseau Institute. Although the arguments exposed by the children in the letters reflected basically the kind of opinions held by the adults surrounding them, the survey was based on a psychological technique which gave voice and visibility to some school boys and girls living in an urban area. At this point I will link this particular study to the psychometrical tradition and the way gender differences are dealt with. Finally, my talk shows that the two scholars used the survey to achieve a political aim, which was to foster pacifist attitudes among the population.
‘We the tormentors, the destroyers’: Death, emotions, and gender in entomology
- L. Joanne Green
This paper explores male and female entomologists’ feelings towards insects during the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. Entomology, ostensibly an exact and objective science, was in actuality filled with emotions, such as the aesthetic joy derived from the beauty and diversity of insects, and the excitement and heightened emotions of the hunt. This paper will place a special focus on the gendered aspects of the relationship between death and natural history, and how entomologists felt about killing insects and turning them into specimens. The paradox of natural history is that its practitioners are often fuelled by a deep love for nature, but in order to be naturalists they are required to kill the things they love. One example that I will analyse in this paper is that of Margaret Fountaine, whose entire life revolved around entomology and her collection, but who was also deeply conflicted, and oscillated between the joy of the hunt and the beauty of her captures, and pity and guilt over killing the insects. In her diary she habitually anthropomorphised butterflies and portrayed them as having feelings, while she herself sometimes felt as a murderer for killing them. However these emotions were repressed in her scientific writing, illustrating one facet of the gendering of emotions among entomologists.
Women-Prisoners in the Service of Kazakh Dandelion Research in Rajsko Auschwitz sub-camp's Plant Breeding Detail
- Pnina Rosenberg
"I still like dandelions. They saved my life as well. I respect these bright yellow flowers; I blow their winged seeds away so they will multiply … and I remember the kok-sagyz, which belonged to same Traxacum family". Those eulogies to the common and modest plant were written in the memoir of the Holocaust survivor Eva Tichauaer who was among the Kommando Pflanzenzucht - women prisoner assigned to the Plant Breeding detail established in Rajsko (June 1943), a village situated about two kilometres from Auschwitz. The Auschwitz sub-camp was commanded by the agronomist SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Cesar who, as the head of the agricultural department at the Auschwitz concentration camp had been commissioned to study the kok-sagyz, a Kazakh dandelion, that its roots contained latex which can be transformed into natural rubber. This research was initiated by the Kaiser Wilhelm Society's Breeding Research, as a result of the increasing demand for natural rubber during war time in Nazi Germany, a raw material that was till then was imported form Eastern Asia. The forced labor inmates – biologists, chemists, agronomist-engineers, technicians as well artists and photographers – were either transferred from the women's camp Ravensbrück, such as the medicine student Eva Tichauer, or were recruited from Auschwitz-Birkenau, as was the case of Sophi Manela, who worked in the gardening detail (Gartnerei) and Eva Gabanyi, an artist who document the scientific work carried out by the researchers in the laboratory. Gabanyi took advantage of the accessibility of painting materials and used them, clandestinely, for her private oeuvres such as the graphic novel Almanac of Memories Auschwitz-Rajsko Concentration Camp (1944). At first glance the 22 text/images pages, resembles a fairy tale narrative; she embodies herself in various human and non-human figures, through which she is moving in a very vast period that spans from prehistoric days, through the camp’s present time and into the future, yet, a minute reading reveals an allegorical biography with references to the life in Rajsko. The almanac represents various strategies of survival in the concentration camp world, such as the significant use of imagination as means of escapism and the vital importance of solidarity/camaraderie in this atrocious realm. Those themes are manifested either in the escapist images or in more realistic 'entries', which bear a more direct reference to daily life in the camp. The aim of this paper is to present camp's life based on inmates written testimonies as intertwined in the Almanac unique text/image.
Women as Healers, Doctors and Care-givers during War and Interwar Times (16:45 – 18:15)
Vlasta Kálalová Di-Lotti and her plan to build a hospital in Jerusalem
- Adela Junova Mackova
After the First World War Czechoslovak republic emerged as one of the successor states of Habsburg monarchy. New republic opened an opportunity for scientists to be a part of the “construction of a Czechoslovak nation” phase. Czech physician, Vlasta Kálalová Di-Lotti, founded (with help of Czechoslovak president T. G. Masaryk) a hospital in Baghdad in 1920s to encourage the research of tropical diseases in the Czechoslovak republic. She specialized in surgery and was fluent in many languages including Arabic, Persian and Turkish. She planned to run a hospital that could be later transformed into scientific institute. As her colleagues in Prague were not willing (or maybe able) to cooperate, none of the samples of tropical diseases sent to Prague were analysed. After her marriage in 1927, she decided to move to Tehran or Jerusalem because of the exhausted weather in Iraq. During her journey to Prague and back in 1927 she stopped in Jerusalem to find a suitable building for a State Institute of Radiology. I would like to present scientific work of Vlasta Kálalová Di-Lotti and her two attempts to establish scientific institutes in the Near East.
Race, Gender and Professionalism: Colonial Nursing in Interwar Palestine
- Hagit Krik
More than 100 qualified British nurses had served in the Palestine mandate administration (1920-1948), as Nursing Sisters, Matrons and Superintendents of Midwifery. In an almost entirely homogeneous male administration, these women were the largest group of British women employed by the government. They performed in what was traditionally perceived as a masculine realm, “a white’s man land,” although the roles designated for them were perceived as typical manifestations of feminine characteristics and abilities. Unlike any other British members of the Mandate administration, British nurses were recruited and managed through an independent organization - the Overseas Nursing Association (ONA). The ONA was a philanthropic organization with the aim of disseminating western medicine around the globe as well as a British model of the nursing profession. The British nurses in Palestine, therefore, were part of a global and imperial network of British nurses scattered in various territories while being administered from the metropolitan center. While a growing body of literature examines colonial nursing, the history of colonial nursing in the Middle East remains largely unexplored. Based on personal letters and administrative data, the paper sheds light on the history, yet to be told, of British nurses in Mandate Palestine. It examines the personal and professional experiences of British nurses in Palestine and their position as imperial agents and as carriers of medical practices and ideologies. As women, as Europeans, and as medical practitioners, these women present a unique perspective for investigating the interlock between colonialism and medicine, the mobility of ideas and practices, and issues of gender, race, class and professionalism. As the paper demonstrates, British nurses confronted multiple challenges and contradictions, affected by their gender and profession and deeply rooted in the nature of the colonial situation; while their gender enabled them access to an array of local female medical practitioners, at the same time it limited their scope of influence and authority. Moreover, while the colonial experience empowered them by presenting various professional opportunities and challenges, it has also prevented them a full realization of their professional abilities and ambitions, as early as the 1920s and in particular as the political situation in Palestine began deteriorating.
War and Welfare: British Women Biochemists in the Second World War
- Benjamin Palmer
British biochemistry has frequently been identified as a field of science particularly open to women during the first half of the twentieth century. Women biochemists such as Marjorie Stephenson and Dorothy Needham were among the first women elected to the Royal Society in the years after the war and Dorothy Hodgkin was the first British woman to receive a Nobel Prize in chemistry. While a few women contributed to defence research during World War II, a much larger number of women biochemists used their scientific expertise to contribute to the war effort in other ways. Previous research in this area has concentrated heavily on the development of penicillin, with relatively little attention to the myriad other ways in which research in biochemistry and those trained in the field were mobilised for the war effort. This paper examines the wartime activities of women biochemists. It reveals the diverse roles they carried out especially relating research in nutrition, counteracting the effects of chemical weapons, wound healing and the domestic production of medicines. It argues that the concentration of women’s wartime endeavours in research intended to benefit the welfare of ordinary British people and to maintain civilian morale, ensuring that they were well-placed to take advantage of post-war developments when wartime organisations were re-purposed in the era of the British welfare state. The expanding welfare state, particularly the establishment of National Health Service and Public Health Laboratory Service as well as the shifting priority of the Medical Research Council from public health concerns to biological and molecular research, created a demand for expertise in areas of research for which women biochemist’s wartime work made them especially suitable. Women’s wartime scientific research can be seen as making a contribution not to warfare, but to welfare.
Wednesday, the 19th of June
Men to the front, women to the lab (10:15 – 11:45)
Gardening for Victory: Gender and Horticultural Science during World War I
- Donald L. Opitz
In the late-19th century, an international movement promoted the higher education of women in horticulture and agriculture, resulting in women’s colleges specializing in these subjects. Their programs emphasized scientific training, then in vogue as part of the growth of technical instruction, and which governments believed to be critical for the improvement of local and national economies. The schools and their programs thus provided a rich context in which women became educated in the sciences. Previously I analyzed and discussed the early growth of this educational movement, from about 1870 up to World War I. In this paper, I now turn to how the war impacted both educational and job opportunities for women in agriculture and horticulture. As is already well known, women’s “land armies” were founded both in the UK and the USA, however, the particular ways in which scientific instruction interfaced with those initiatives remains relatively unexplored by scholars. So, in this paper, I will consider the ways in which the confluence of women’s horticultural education, technical instruction, and wartime priorities impacted women in science who were involved in the women’s land armies, victory gardens and similar efforts. To illustrate the broader patterns, I will focus on a few particular cases.
Wars and Female Doctors Gender in Medical Education and Practice in Central Europe (around WWI and WWII)
- Ivana Ebelova, Milada Sekyrkova
Any war has been changing the social and economic circumstances of the participating countries. As a rule, men carry arms and women have much more duties in the background. But not just only there. Many women take part directly or indirectly in war operations themselves, more often than at the war origins. One of the important social changes was the arrival of women in various posts, formerly considered to be male, in the period around WWI. In addition, women took position in clinics and medical laboratories. Besides, some women started working directly within the army - lab technicians on emerging mobile X-ray workplaces, etc. The faculties of medicine were opened to female students in the Habsburg monarchy from the very beginning of the 20th century. Until the outbreak of war they graduated and sought to apply. The aspect of the nationality is taken in big relevance in this geographical space and in this period. Among students was an important share of the Jewish girls everywhere in Central Europe as entire, i. e. from the environment where the emphasis was placed on education. Although the Jews were traditionally more cosmopolitan environment, lukewarm to the national aspirations of the majority nations of their countries in which they lived, actively participated in the practice during WWI. The period around World War II had already a completely different character for each of the Central European countries. If we stick to the example of Czech lands, it can be said that the men were not taken to the army here because the country was occupied by the Nazis. Subsequently women were in different position than during WWI, too. World War II serves for us as a comparative period in terms of statistics and demographics, especially in view of the situation arising from the ongoing Holocaust in Central Europe. In the paper we will bring some specific stories of graduated female doctors, especially for the period around WWI, when they studied medicine in Prague, one of the examples can be the later female Nobel Prize winner for medicine Gerty Theresa Radnitz, married Cori.
The Cold War, Domesticity and Women’s Employment in Science and Engineering, 1940s- c 1970
- Sally Horrocks
From the 1940s until the late 1960s British policy makers agonised about what they characterised as the problem of scientific ‘manpower’. A shortage of scientists and engineers was seen as both a threat to Cold War national security and to the ability of British industry to compete in world markets. While the impact of this belief on science policy and education is widely acknowledged, little attention has been paid to its gendered dimensions. Despite the contributions of women scientists and engineers during World War II, policy makers made little effort to encourage women to fill the gaps during the first two decades of the Cold War. It was not until 1969 and Women in Engineering Year that there was any official encouragement for women to do so. This paper examines why this reluctance to see women as a solution to this problem persisted, despite the efforts of campaigners who argued that improving opportunities for women was in the national interest and who pointed to the example of the Soviet Union to suggest how they might contribute. It argues that active efforts to encourage women into science and technology were rejected because they would have undermined prevailing Cold War gender ideologies which foregrounded women’s domesticity to counter alternative notions of gender roles associated with communism. In this context women who had studied science could best serve the nation by subordinating paid labour to their domestic responsibilities. They were directed into teaching rather than research because it was ‘an occupation which a woman can take up again without great difficulty after marriage and bringing up a family.’ This was reinforced by cultural representations of women scientists that frequently prioritised their domestic roles over professional identities. Only in the mid to late 1960s did this stance begin to shift as the primacy of domesticity in British women’s lives came increasingly to be questioned.
The gendered aspect of technology (14:30 – 16:00)
Challenging the image of the male computer hacker in the Federal Republic of Germany. Technology, communication networks and female activism in the transition to the 1990s
- Julia Gul Erdogan
The lack of female actors in the history of computing has been researched in the last years. Scholars as Nathan Ensmenger and Janet Abbate have already shown how women have been made invisible in the history of computer use and development. Researchers identified as well that after women took over an active role in the use and development of computer technology during and after the Second World War, men increasingly displaced them from these professions. Women were not only under-represented in the profession of programmers and developers, but also in computer subcultures. In the case of the hacker culture, subcultural usage and the development of computer technology often went hand in hand as can be seen in engineers and designers like Steve Wozniak or Adam Osborne. First of all, a hacker was a computer enthusiast and in addition he became a data voyager and data security breaker, when computer networks were growing in the 1980s. Beyond the technical level some hackers were also computer activists, who promoted the new technology as counter-control to state surveillance and proclaimed socially responsible technology configurations. The new communication possibilities through computer networks were used for example by free speech and anti-war activists that believed in the connective power of communication. But hacking was a male dominated domain, although there were women who could use this technology as easily as men did, controlled it and proclaimed an open access and social usage of computer technology.4 In my contribution to the conference I want to show firstly, how the image of the brilliant male inventor in the hacker culture was formed. Secondly, I want to highlight how the male and female computer enthusiasts dealt with the lack of female actors in their peer group. Thereby I will stress out the role of female actors in this computer culture. To show how men and women negotiated inequalities in computer usage and the social impact of the new technology, I want to put a focus on the hacker culture in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in the late 1980s and early 1990s In order to do so, I will highlight the group of female hackers that named themselves “Haecksen”. The English spelling for “hacker” [ˈhɛkɐ] came close to the German word for witch “Hexe” [hɛˈkse], which female actors transformed into the similar pronounced word “Haeckse”. The recourse to witches, and thus including a secret knowledge of what was regarded as sorcery and unholy in the Middle Ages, implicitly placed Haecksen in a long tradition of persecuted women. The term referred to misunderstandings and partly negative attitudes towards Haecksen – and hackers – due to a lack of knowledge in society about certain practices and functions of computer technology. Furthermore, the term refers to a creature that is in-between-worlds; A “Hexe”, following a linguistic genealogy a “hedge rider”, is right on the border of two worlds – live and death – and can mediate between these worlds. Through the introduction of the word and its connection to computer technology, female hackers became entities stuck both in the physical and the virtual /digital world. Therefore, Haecksen were de facto linked as intermediary and thereby they proclaimed an initial role in the computerization. A role that the West-German hacker movement proclaimed since the early 1980s and which is reflected in the foundation of the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), the biggest hacker club worldwide. In 1984 these hackers expressed their aim to “realize […] the ‘new’ human right to at least worldwide free, unhindered and uncontrolled exchange of information” and explained that “computers are a prerequisite that cannot be abolished again” and that this technology is “the most important new medium”. The term “Haeckse” was initiated at the CCC’s hacker conference Chaos Communication Congress in 1989, when the female hackers officially had their first meeting. The artist Rena Tangens was the initiator of that meeting. She was also one of the founders of a hacker and data security club in Bielefeld. Thus she played an important role in the mailbox scene in the late 1980s in the FRG, by promoting this new way of communication for social movements and other activists. Rena Tangens was a central figure behind the German Bulletin Board System (BBS) BIONIC that was established 1987. It served inter alia as a communication platform during the Yugoslavian wars in the 1990s. Activists established the ZaMir Transnational Network, which means “for peace” in most of the languages spoken in former Yugoslavia, in the BIONIC system. The purpose of this BBS wasto give anti-war, peace and human rights activist in the various regions of the former state an opportunity to communicate with each other and with the rest of the world. By analysing the role of female computer activists in the late 1980s and early 1990s it can be shown how women contributed in the social shaping of technology usage in war and peace as well as how technology has received gender-specific attribution, which were as well bargained.
Glass Ceilings and Iron Domes: Gender, Military Technology and New Wars in Israel
- Ari Barell
In September 2017, the Israeli Army (IDF) declared a reform in the definitions of the different categories of its combatants. At the top of the hierarchy the new classification placed the “Spearhead Fighter" a new category that according to IDF’s definition is: “a soldier trained to operate in ‘the contact operations zone’, to strike the enemy through maneuvers, while risking his life.” The next category in the hierarchy is the "Fighter" )the category which was previously at the top of the hierarchy) defined as “a soldier trained to operate using weaponry in ‘the contact operations zone’ to strike the enemy, either directly or as part of a team, while risking his life”. Below the category of the Fighter the new classification placed the “Operational combat support soldier”. The new classification places the soldiers of Iron dome – Israel’s short-range missile defense system - under the second category of “Fighter”. This classification has a significant impact on gender issues because, along with the women serving in IDF’s mixed Infantry battalions, many female soldiers serving in the Iron Dome batteries were also included under the “Fighter” category. This lecture is part of a comprehensive study about "Iron Dome" – Israel's most prominent military technology development in recent years. The study examines whether Iron Dome actually reflects the rise of a new social order which affects the way the state operates, its relations with its citizens, and the manner in which it conducts its wars. The lecture will look at the gender aspect of the Iron Dome phenomenon and will examine the way in which this technology enables/promotes the integration of women into combat units in the Israeli army and the implications of this development.
Gender, advanced technological apparatuses, and “Warfare without risk”: the case of Israel’s border with Gaza Strip
- Dr. Brownfield-Stein Chava
"We are the Eyes of the Nation", said Noam Lazarovich (2011) in a press interview referring to her military role as an electronic observer, monitoring and operating the Spot -Shoot system. The Spot -Shoot system was developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems as Sentry Tech: Long Distance Stationary Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS). The weaponry system was given its nickname Roa-Yora (Spot-Shoot), which became common in both military and civilian discourse in Israel. The system is activated against people approaching the security fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel, solely by women soldiers serving as army observers’ part of the Field Intelligence Corps. Roa-Yora is part of advanced technological apparatuses such as “smart” fences or Indicative Sensorial Fence, video and thermal cameras, sensors, hi-tech balloons, and other surveillance apparatuses that over the past few years were deployed along Israel’s borders . One of the traditional roles of militaries is securing of Nation-State’s borders and protecting its sovereignty against foreign threats, and Israel’s borders are undergoing unprecedented changes. Along the border with Gaza Strip Israel was developing a border control strategy which relies on combination of traditional combat battalions with screen-mediated monitoring and remote weapon systems such as remote weapon system the Roa-Yora System, the THOR system (the "Cold Fire" system); a weapon station with dual machine gun and laser capabilities, the Guardium; Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), which patrols the Gaza fence around the clock, or the Unmanned Ground Vehicle for remote fire missions; the “Border Protector", which become as common as drones. These new surveillance apparatuses, recent technological advancements and developments in military strategies are proposing innovative collaborations and hybrid situations that obscure the different environments of computer games, military simulators and real combat conditions, and blurring the gap between real and virtual combat. The presentation offers insights concerning the interface and the intersection between new border control technologies and military roles. It focuses on Rafael’s Spo-Shoot System to examine how technological apparatuses, surveillance techniques and tactical changes reconstruct the concept of “border control”, and in turn affecting military strategy and the military users. Although Wilcox (2015) argues that the availability of remotely controlled weapon systems cancels out the gendering of their users, it seems that for the IDF, this distinction is still significant. The paper illuminates on changing orientations to “warfare without risk” (Kahn, 2002), a more preventive policing approach, screen-mediated remote border control activated by combat support women soldiers such as Lazarovich, stationed on the Gaza border, addition to traditional tactics and face-to-face war practices.
Thursday, the 20th of June
Science & Technology, masculinity & femininity (09:30 – 11:00)
Patriarchy, Medicine and Women Medical Missionaries: Partial Catalytic Agents
- Kamlesh Mohan
My paper seeks to explore the wide-ranging influence of institutionalized patriarchy and its cultural underpinnings in constructing and strengthening gendered notions of science particularly medicine in Britain, Europe and United States especially during the two World Wars.Even after war ceased and peace followed ,women continued to be relegated to domestic arena and dubbed as sexualized bodies with inferior intellectual abilities. My argument shall be illustrated with examples from women's struggle for medical education in the imperialist countries and colonized countries namely India...The processes were complex and different in each terrain depending upon the dynamics of cultural and nationalist forces. In the course of discussion, debates regarding women's struggle for medical education, and for status as full-fledged missionaries and professional career as institution-builders, fund raisers, surgeons and gynaecologists shall figure including the rabid hostility of their male colleagues. The story of Christian Medical College in Ludhiana[India], founded by A Baptist Missionary Edith Brown, provides the best example of the tension between misogynist notions of women's intellectual caliber and their success as scientists and doctors during periods of crisis such as wars and their abilities as professional surgeons and administrators.They succeeded in modernizing male colleagues as exemplified by hospitals at Vellore and Ludhiana.
Men-Made Physics: Examining Masculinity as a Strategy for Creating Feminist Critiques of Physics
- Maya Roman
Alfred North Whitehead as a case study Feminist philosophy of science has proven very influential in the last decades. Particularly when it comes to the humanities and the social sciences, but also in archeology, biology and genetics. When it comes to critiquing the “harder sciences” and especially physics, feminist critiques have been far scarcer. The problem of creating feminist critiques of physics consists of two interrelated parts: the lack of women in the field and the abstract nature of the subject matter. Despite this, several feminist philosophers, such as Sharon Trawick and Barbara Whitten, have raised critiques of physics. The most famous and radical of these is Karen Barad’s physics-philosophy based on Niels Bohr’s interpretation of quantum mechanics. These critiques expose the relationship between gender and physics but also pose a problem. Barad’s work, for example, advocates for a more feminist understanding of matter based on Bohr’s interpretation but ignores the question - why would Bohr’s work be the starting point for a more feminist science? This question cannot be ignored because feminist philosophers of science urge us not to discuss the abstract content of a theory on its own, severing the connection between knowing subject and object of investigation. Consequently, a feminist critique of physics must be rooted in an understanding of changing gender relations. In the absence of women in the field, I suggest, basing this understanding on shifting notions of masculinity. Such an analysis would focus on the way gender and science are coconstituted by power relations as Evelyn Fox Keller claims and can explain the holistic nature of Quantum theory in connection with the redefining of masculinity that took place between the two world wars in Europe. In order to show how such a critique can be established I will discuss the case study of Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy of science and the different experiences that shaped his relationship to masculinity and gender, including his marriage, his involvement with women’s rights in Cambridge and the death of his son north during the first world war.
Citroën and Renault Cross the Sahara: Technology and Masculinity in French Automotive Expeditions (1922-1925)
- Zohar Sapir Dvir
Between 1922 and 1925 the French automobile manufacturers, Citroën and Renault, organized two automotive crossings of the Sahara each. My study is a social and cultural history of these pioneering trans-Saharan automobile expeditions and is the first to examine them from the perspective of gender. This paper examines the role of the trans-Saharan automobile voyages in the reconstruction of French masculinities in the immediate postwar years. The croisières, a novel experience of mobility reserved for Frenchmen, provided a heroic outlet that affirmed virile values and glorified a masculinity that accented technological prowess. First, I will explore how during the 1920s French colonial Africa became a space of contention between two systems of mechanized mobility – the rail and the automobile. The automobile, a symbol of modernity that showcased scientific progress and the superiority of French technology, eclipsed travel by rail in France's African possessions. I will show automotive expeditions played a role in the social and cultural discourses of gender, nationalism and the empire in postwar France. Earning considerable publicity and acclaim, the automobile became a central component in reinforcing a French masculine identity as members of the expeditions were seen to have triumphed over nature by employing technology. The expeditions emerged as a resource for Frenchmen to reassert their manliness by replacing the trauma and devastation wrought by the Great War with images of dominance, endurance and superiority. The advent of technology that could pilot Frenchmen through terrains that had been impenetrable to westerners, re-produced the French African empire as an object of conquest and the re-conquest of colonial space became synonymous to national and masculine rejuvenation.
Women’s Bodies (11:30 – 13:00)
Female Criminal Police, Germany, 1942–1944
- Laurens Schlicht
In 1926 a special unit has been formally introduced in Prussia that should help to control and educate so called neglected (verwahrloste) youth and also to give expert testimonies in court cases of sexual abuse: the Female Criminal Police (Weibliche Kriminalpolizei). As also other German states introduced this new opportunity for women for professional advancement, Female Criminal Police was give a homogeneous structure during National Socialism in 1936. For women, the interconnectedness of police work, scientific practices (above all psychology but also criminology or sociology), and values of subjectivity, the so called “motherliness” (Mütterlichkeit), formed a complex arrangement that constructed a new professional field of expertise especially reserved for women. In my presentation I want to analyze the specific modes of subjectivity for the Female Criminal Police that were either introduced or modified during National Socialism especially during war time. I would like to show how during the war the increased fear of the neglect of youth beyond the front influenced the way the Female Criminal Police worked. The papers of two officers of the Female Criminal Police – Berta Rathsam in Regensburg and Elisabeth Rothschuh in Berlin – as well as materials of the Bundesarchiv Berlin will help to analyze the complex power-relations between agencies of National Socialist’ state, governmental welfare institutions, resources from scientific fields, above all psychology, and the political aim of controlling and appeasing the situation of the “youth” in territories not yet involved in war. In this way, it becomes possible to analyze for a specific case how precisely human scientific knowledge could be made functional for practices of control.
Re/Production Cycles: Affective Economies of Soviet Menstruation
- Pavel Vasilyev
In the aftermath of the 1917 Revolution, Russia pioneered a significant number of progressive policies directed at women that were way ahead of their time. It was the first fully independent country to grant its female citizens the right to vote, to enact a modern no-fault divorce law, to fully legalize abortion and to make it available to all women and in all circumstances, free of charge and on-demand. Even though many of these liberties were later significantly restricted or abolished under Stalin, the Soviet Union continued to praise itself on being the country that achieved full gender equality in all spheres of life throughout its existence. However, the reality often lagged behind, and Soviet women continuously found themselves subject to widespread discrimination and exploitation throughout the 20th century. Often this took shape of the so-called ‘double burden’ problem, when the Soviet woman was expected to work full-time alongside her male comrades at a factory or a collective farm, yet at the same time was not relieved of her responsibilities as a mother and a homemaker. The early Soviet period was also one of the most radical and audacious experiments in human development that was guided by daring modernist ideas about malleability and perfectibility of both human nature and the social environment. Especially since the end of the 1920s, the new Soviet authorities took far-reaching steps to master time and to make it serve the goals of socialist productivity. They introduced the famous ‘five-year plans’ that set production goals for all the industries in the country and increasingly encouraged the workers to exceed these quota and to fulfill a ‘five-year plan’ within four, three or even two and a half years. In the late 1920s, the Soviets also abolished the traditional working week and instead introduced the so-called ‘continuous production week’ which featured days numbered from 1 to 7 and ensured the uninterrupted functioning of the Soviet economy. While many of these economic policies had disastrous consequences, the contemporaries also described how the illusion of mastering time increased the people’s enthusiasm for the socialist project and made them believe that the Communist paradise could be established on earth in their lifetime. In this paper, I bring together these radical early Soviet projects of transforming both reproductive bodies and productive time by focusing on the case of female menstrual cycle. Echoing Emily Martin’s anthropological work, I examine the hidden affective economies of Soviet menstruation and place this discussion within the larger context of socialist politics of productivity and gendered citizenship. In doing so, I actively use the metaphor of ‘re/production cycles’ and highlight the double embeddedness of the female menstrual cycle in the politics of both reproduction and economic productivity. Focusing in particular on the introduction of ‘menstrual leave’ provisions for working women in the 1920s and the shifting reproductive policies in the Soviet Union under Stalin, I explore the peculiar dynamics of this re/production nexus and situate it within the larger context of Soviet modernity.
The war over the feminine body – Israel’s women conscription and the female physiology
- Erela Teharlev Ben-Shachar
This lecture will delineate an example of the coproduction of the feminine/women physiology and women's role in the military service, through the writings of Dr. Shulamit Tolchinsky, a female sport-medicine doctor, during the 1940’s. The texts Dr. Tolchinsky has published along this decade, that was full of disputes about the part women should take in the military effort, reveal a transformation of the conception of the female body. It seems that as the war was approaching and the belief that women should be recruited grew stronger the feminine body was thought to be less fragile, more plastic (being able to get stronger with exercise) and its internal organs – mainly the womb, were captured as more sturdy. This case study shows how medical perceptions are interwoven with conceptions about women's roles in wartime, and how conceptions of women's role in defense efforts are involved in the shaping of their physiology.