This year the festival was dedicated to the concepts of gender and intersectionality, which were presented through the lens of labour history and biographical writing. International event was carried out at the Institute of Contemporary History and organized by Nina Vodopivec. Urška Strle and Manca G. Renko from the EIRENE team took part in a rich selection of lecturers and speakers at the festival.
Urška Strle spoke about tobacco workers during multiple changes of political reality, by applying a transnational, comparative and longitudinal approach. She focused on tobacco workers of three of the eight tobacco factories located in the North-Eastern Adriatic region, namely in Ljubljana, Klagenfurt and Rovinj. The turbulent past of the North-Eastern Adriatic region offers convincing empirical evidence that, at various turning points in the past, certain social groups could fundamentally change the charge of their social reputation and opportunities. The empirically based findings supporting the analysis of observed tobacco workers clearly exhibit mutable social hierarchies, even more so when a long-term perspective is employed. In order to present the historical matter in its human complexity, the article favors the intersectional approach that tends to explain social relations in extended scope of observation. The three factories in the North-Eastern Adriatic region confirm the ever-changing spectrum between social polarities of the workers’ fate: marginalization, exclusion, and disempowerment on one side, and inclusion, empowerment, and opportunities on the other.
Manca G. Renko focused on the missing intersection between history of labour and intellectual history. She discussed the concept of intellectual work from gendered perspective, focusing on working conditions, emotional attitudes towards work, reception and status of an intellectual. The paper presented predominant ideas of women intellectuals and/or artists of the Upper Adriatic area and shed light on the role of gender in discussing intellectual achievements and (re)producing intellectual work especially in transitional periods after WWI and WW2. Through different case studies the most stubborn historiographical tropes that are connected to intellectual history and gender were tackled: the trope of “separate spheres”, the trope of “originality” and the trope of “individuality”.
The event program can be found on the following web site: