XIXth Annual Forum of Young Legal Historians

15-18 May, 2013
Lille, France & Ghent, Belgium

(Wo)men in Legal History

Call for Papers

Call for Papers (PDF file)

(Wo)men in Legal History



Under the banner ‘Unity through diversity’, the undersigned, young legal historians from the universities of Lille (France) and Ghent (Belgium), have joined forces in applying for the organisation of the Association of Young Legal Historians’ next forum. At first sight, we may seem very different, being divided by language (French-Dutch) and nationality (French-Belgian). However, from a historical point of view, we do have much in common, as we have been compatriots in the historical county of Flanders for many centuries.
The theme we propose is “(Wo)men in Legal History”. This broad subject allows to think about women and men in legal history from various scientific angles. The gender concept has become essential in human and social sciences, providing another way of analysing and interpreting society. Masculinity and femininity can thus be comprehended as a social construction based on biological sex.
The aim of this project is not to take part in any militant ideology but to consider dispassionately the various scientific ways of the construction of femininity and masculinity. The importance for legal historians is obvious: to think about law as an instrument of subordination and/or way of social change, which can enrich studies about the juridical evolution of societies. Legal rules can be important tools of social engineering in a very explicit way, but, also implicitly every legal system mirrors the cultural role of gender. Can law, from an evolutionary and dynamic point of view, be seen as a way of reduction of differences between men and women? What is the role and place of both genders in legislation and legislative bodies, in justice administration and judicial colleges, as well as in legal science and education, both as subjects or objects? 
The theme is deliberately broad and allows contributions about men and/or women in Law and/or justice. The organizers of the forum will also accept contributions which are not directly related to the theme if they are original and have an interest for research in legal history.
Candidates are invited to submit their contributions. The organizers welcome both traditional approaches in legal history as methodologically innovative research. May the joint venture of Lille and Ghent incite young scholars in legal history and adjacent scientific fields to work on various scientific and intellectual concepts, to make this conference a fruitful interdisciplinary venue.
Please send your application, i.e. an abstract of not more than 2,000 characters, preferably in English, and your CV to forum2013@aylh.org (until 31 January 2013). The participation fee for participants presenting a paper will be €80, for all others €100.


Further information on the Association of Young Legal Historians and past Forums as well as up-to-date information is available on www.aylh.org.


We are looking forward to your application and will be delighted to welcome you in Lille and Ghent the 15, 16, 17 and 18 of May 2013.


The Organizing Committee


  • « List of Forums
  • Call for Papers
  • Program & Abstracts
  • About the Organizers
  • In the Media
  • Proceedings
  • Photos