Rural History 2015

Panel 70

Organizers: Clancy, Mary

Affiliation: National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

Title: Social, political and economic agency in 19th century rural Europe: histories of children and women

"The panel will examine the public agency and experience of women and children as categories of significance in nineteenth-century rural European contexts. It will focus, in particular, on institutions and relief projects associated with children and women and located in rural settings. Additionally, the nineteenth century as a time-frame will usefully stimulate thinking about rural women and public agency, at a time of international democratic advance on questions of women’s enfranchisement and formal political power. The panel theme invites examination of social class, ethnicity, age, gender, literacy and language as complicating categories of analysis and significance. A European dimension and scope enables the panel to identify shared themes, approaches, perspectives and starting points.
The panel will suggest ways to stimulate scholarship in rural history, therefore, through renewed emphasis on the social, political and economic agency of children and women. In narrating and reconstructing such histories and life-stories, it aims to uncover the formal and informal nature of institutional, imperial, religious and national frameworks. The categories under review draw attention to multiple networks and sets of relationships and, in so doing, raise questions about the rural as a place of visible, yet obscured, public effort.
Further, in situating such public histories in rural locations, the panel theme will help to define and identify archival resources, including visual, documentary, artefacts and memories, full, incomplete, silenced and partial. The theme will also encourage research and will help to situate children and women as active and complicated agents in stories of social change, discrimination and privilege. This will help to explore and to expand definitions and boundaries of what constitutes rural history and to strengthen the research potential of rural historical agency and analysis. "



Paper 1: 'Steady, hard work': The agricultural labour of children in Irish reformatories in the nineteenth century

Geraldine Curtin. NUI, Galway, Ireland

Paper 2: Contrasting Experiences of Women and Children in the Nineteenth Century English Countryside: A Case Study of Yorkshire

Sarah Holland, Sheffield Hallam University, UK.

Paper 3: The politics of women’s agency in rural industrial relief, late 19th century – early 20th century Ireland.

Mary Clancy, NUI, Galway, Ireland.


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015