Viaggi e genere: un’introduzione
Elisabetta Serafini, Antonietta Angelica Zucconi
Unfolding Italy. Viaggiatrici inglesi nel “lungo” Risorgimento
Unfolding Italy. English Travellers During the “Long” Risorgimento
The article analyzes the narrations of English women who visited Italy in the first half of the 19th century. Through their travel writings, they expressed an original point of view on the political and social events of the peninsula. Travel diaries and private correspondence contribute to restoring the role of female travel as a fundamental experience of individual and social maturation and as an instrument of complete emancipation, and from this perspective Italy was a context of particular importance.
keywords: travels, female emancipation, travelogues, private correspondence, italian unification, meridionism
«For a Long Time I Travelled Alone and as a Foreigner»: Intertwining Perspectives and Narratives in the Europe of Early Modernisation
The essay aims to reread the life and writings of Flora Tristan (1803-1844) and at the same time focus attention on one of the themes at the centre of debate in the first half of the 19th century: that of the metropolises, which were changing under the pressure of increasing industrialisation. These were spaces that became a major source of investigation and concern for the ruling classes of the time and the mirror through which to survey the main effects of modernisation. Tristan also made travel the perspective through which she developed her political and social thinking, contributing to reading the city also through a gendered lens.
keywords: flora tristan, paris, londres, modernisation, liberalism, feminism, travel
Women and Mountains: Female Travels and Writings on the Western Alps between Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries
During the nineteenth century, several women increasingly travelled to the Alps. No longer passive presences or exceptional ramblers, they moved across regions deemed particularly suitable for performing manly values and empowering masculinity. Mostly exponents of the British upper-middle class, women revised their experiences and produced female mountain literature. While mainly echoing traditional male narrative models, women’s alpine writings presented a variety of comments, impressions, sensitivities and concerns, showing that female mountaineers were not merely subaltern companions but active contributors to the process of building the Alps during the golden age of modern mountaineering.
keywords: alpine literature, mountaineering, nineteenth century, western Alps, women’s writing
The Nineteenth century, a century called “of nationalities”, brought a transformation with respect to the traveller’s profile. If the tourist and the globetrotter were the newcomers in this social category, the things changed even further as travelling was no longer a masculine occupation. This became evident, attracting new possibilities. Exotic and dangerous places re-branded themselves as more welcoming, and Western women travellers engaged with them in different ways than their predecessors. This study discusses travel and mobility from a gender perspective and explores the legacies of the Ottoman Empire in regard to South-Eastern European provinces in creating a nuanced image of these territories in the eyes of Western women travellers.
keywords: south-eastern europe, nineteenth century, women, travel, knowledge, stereotypes
Women in China in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Opportunities and Limits of Travelling in Missionary Sources
Mary Ann Aldersey, Eliza Gillett Bridgman and Helen Sanford Coan Nevius were among the first Protestant women missionaries to arrive in China and they narrated their experiences through books and published letters. This article, based on these sources published in the mid-nineteenth century, reconstructs some issues related to their arrival, and their activities as propagators of the gospel and, at the same time, agents of the western project of civilisation of China. Furthermore, travelling to China as a woman could mean accessing spaces previously forbidden to Westerners, and having more opportunities to interact with local women. At the same time, this experience could present several challenges, some related precisely to being a woman in this context.
keywords: 19th century, china, protestant missions, women missionaries
Three Days at the End of the Sea. Pilgrimage Account to Mecca of a Qajar Princess (1303-1304/1886-1887)
Three Days at the End of the Sea is the title of manuscript No. 5-18422 in the Tehrān National Library, transcribed and published in 1397 (2018). Written in Persian, this is a Qajar princess account of her pilgrimage to Mecca. On Wednesday, 21st šaʿbān 1303 (May 25, 1886) she leaves Ṭabas (an Iranian eastern city) to which she would return fifteen months later, on 11 ḏu al-ḥijja 1304 (August, 31st 1887), the last date given in the manuscript. This essay aims at analyzing the connection between travel and writing in the wake of the events reported in Three Days at the End of the Sea.
keywords: travel account, pilgrimage, qajar dinasty, Iranian women, manuscript
Alexandra David-Néel, nomade del pensiero e nello spazio geografico
Valentina De Santi, Luisa Rossi
Alexandra David-Néel, Nomad Thinker and Traveller
Alexandra David-Néel is a prominent figure in the field of studies on the history of women’s travel. She was born in Saint Mandé on October 24, 1868. She has been studied and celebrated as a feminist and oriental philosopher. She has become most famous for her journey to the holy city of Lhasa where she managed to enter in 1924, disguised as a beggar, after almost fourteen years spent in India, China, Japan, and other countries. The contribution we are presenting intends to address the relevance of this figure through two paths of analysis. The first is the reconstruction of the most significant moments of her biography, “staged” in her house-museum as an exceptional fact of conservation and enhancement. The second is the analysis of her travel-related production, whose contribution to geographical knowledge has not only been subjective but also scientific.
keywords: david-néel; house-museum; asia; geography
Conquering a Political Space: Women Candidates in the Local Elections of 1946
In 1946, Italian women exercised their political rights for the first time: they voted and were voted for. This article investigates the dynamics of voting at the local level in local elections, the first to be held that year. Through an analysis that takes into consideration the cultural and social characteristics of the electoral competition, it is possible to see the difference between how political parties presented women’s political participation and how women politicians defined it, the factors favouring or penalising female candidates and in which cases women are elected. Thus, the administrative elections of 1946 appear to be a crucial moment in the formation of the long-term characteristics of the nascent democracy with regard to political participation and women’s rights in Italy.
keywords: women, politics, 1946 elections, gender history, calabria, pisa, political parties
The article provides a gendered approach to patient-doctor relationship, by analysing the casebook of the learned physician Francesco Partini from Rovereto (1500–1569). It investigates women’s access to the doctor, their attitude towards him, their view of illness, and their capacity to negotiate cures. Knowledge of the menstrual cycle is also presented from the women’s perspective, and it is described not in light of medical books, but in the context of medical practice. Finally, by documenting the integration of menstruation in the aetiology of diseases, the article shows how profoundly gender shaped the understanding of the body not only in terms of anatomy, but also of disease causation.
keywords: prancesco partini; female patients; early modern medical practice; gendered-oriented medical encounter; patient-physician relationship; history of the body; menstrual cycle
Ricordo di Andreina De Clementi
di Rosanna De Longis
Il 12 marzo 2022 è venuta a mancare Andreina De Clementi, socia fondatrice della Società Italiana delle Storiche, già sua presidente e direttrice di «Genesis». La redazione ricorda con rimpianto, stima e affetto la studiosa e l’amica, e lascia alle parole di Rosanna De Longis la rievocazione della sua figura e del ruolo che ha avuto nella nascita della storia delle donne e di genere in Italia e nel rinnovamento complessivo degli studi storici nel nostro Paese.
Gli studi di genere in Italia: a che punto siamo? Il Premio Paola Bora a tre anni dalla sua nascita
Cristina Galasso, Giovanna Zitiello
Le pagine della Sis
a cura di Vanessa Moi