La fabrique d'une persona scientifique au féminin: the International Federation of University Women (années 1920-années 1960)

Cabanel, A., 2019, [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 507 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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The International Federation of University Women (IFUW, in French FIFDU: Fédération internationale des femmes diplômées des universités) was founded in 1919 by female academics from the Anglo-Saxon world who pursued scientific, feminist and internationalist objectives. Using an international organization characterised by this dual aspect, feminine and scientific, as a case study, this Ph.D. aims to examine gender history and history of science through the lens of the concept of scientific persona, in order to explore the ideals and practices at play in the expression of a female-centred intellectual or scientific identity. In the wake of recent works in the history of science, it highlights the cultural and gendered dynamics that underpinned the criteria for academic excellence by studying the link between the identity of scientists (specifically, but not limited to their sex), their credibility as scientists and the conditions for the recognition of their work. It examines the crucial role played by the IFUW in the construction and promotion of a female scientific persona, that of the university women, or at least a persona with which women could identify and be associated with. The organization of congresses contributed to the mise-en-scène and promotion of the university women’s identity. The development of an international programme of research fellowships demonstrates how women scientists played a key role in re-shaping the cultural representation of scientists that was still mainly associated with male attributes in the larger collective imagination. Despite the historical circumstances of the 1930s and 1940s (antifeminism and antisemitism), the university women have sought and succeeded to a great extent in conciliating what was initially presented and perceived as incompatible: women and science.
Original languageFrench
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Bosch, Mineke, Supervisor
  • Wils, K., Supervisor, External person
  • Chaperon, S., Co-supervisor, External person
  • Kemperink, M.G., Assessment committee, External person
  • Pasture, P., Assessment committee, External person
  • Tournes, L., Assessment committee, External person
  • de Smaele, H., Assessment committee, External person
Award date9-Dec-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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