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Workshop Bucharest 25-28 April 2012

Women’s Writing and the East-West connections within Europe:
Visualizing the channels

This COST-WWIH Workshop Bucharest, organized by Ramona Mihaila was held at :
Spiru Haret University,
Studio Hall,
Ion Ghica str. no. 13,
25-28 April 2012.

Contributions to this workshop will be presented, together with papers from the Poznan conference, in a volume to be published in the newly created series entitled "Women Writers in History". The volume will be edited by Ramona Mihailá and Magdalena Koch.



12.00 - 13.30: lunch for participants having arrived

13.30 - 14.00: registration

14.00 - 14.30

  • Professor Manuela Epure, Prorector of Spiru Haret University:
    • Welcome Address
  • Ramona Mihaila (WG 4, Romania), organizer of the workshop, and representative of (Frin)gender:
  • Suzan van Dijk, Chair of the Action
    • Overview: Perspectives for the future

14.30 – 16.00

Session 1: Comparing between East and West (19th century)
session president: Viola Capkova

16.30 - 18.00

Visit to the Castle of Marthe Bibesco, Romanian-French author.

18.30 - 20.30

Conference dinner in Mogosoaia Castle Restaurant near Marthe Bibesco's place


9.00 - 10.00

10.00 - 10.30: coffee break

10.30 – 12.00

Session 2: “Female” Spaces and Places
session president: Katja Mihurko

  • Marianna D'Ezio (Italy)
    • Venice : International Connections as seen through Elisabetta Caminer Turra’s Europa Letteraria (18th century)

12.00 - 13.00

  • Astrid Kulsdom (WG 4, Netherlands, Database Editorial Board)
    • Working in the WomenWriters database: demonstration and discussion (questions and items for discussion can be sent before 24 April to Astrid);
    • Handling the large-scale sources, as used (and to be used) in the database.

13.00 - 14.30: lunch

14.30 – 16.00

Session 3: International “female” influences (19th century)
session president: Kerstin Wiedemann

  • Luiza Marinescu (Romania)

16.30 – 18.00

Short presentations by Romanian colleagues and students, contributing to the conference in two parallel sessions
session presidents: Carmen Dutu and Ramona Mihaila

  • Lia Brad Chisacof (Romanian Academy)
    • The Ladies’ Relation to Literary Reading and Writing in the Romanian 18th Century

  • Ma Li (Nesna University College, Norway)
  • Mihaela Frasineanu, Dragos Frasineanu, Liliana Guran (Spiru Haret University)
    • Dora D'Istria and Bucura Dumbrava: Parallel Destinies, Geographic Congruences. Literary and Scientific Contribution to the Development of Connections between East and West

  • Catalin Radu (Central Research Institute, Spiru Haret University)
  • Ruxandra Vasilescu (Spiru Haret University)
    • Nineteenth Century Romanian Women Translators and Their Contribution to Promoting Romanian Culture in Europe

  • Tamara Ceban (Spiru Haret University)
  • Mihaela Chapelan (Spiru Haret University)
  • Catalin Simion (Spiru Haret University)
  • Andreea Vladescu (Spiru Haret University)
    • Dora D'Istria: le tremplin roumain vers la condition de la femme et de l'intellectuelle moderne

  • Hristea Mihaela (Gh Airinei College, Bucharest)
  • Valentina Enachi (University of European Studies Moldavia, Republic of Moldavia)
    • The Feminine Images of Bessarabean Press of 1911-1914

Dinner free


9.00 - 10.15

Session 4: International Reception Networks
session president: Madeleine Jeay

10.15 - 10.30

  • Biljana Dojcinovic:
    • The Knjizenstvo project and database for Serbian women's literature.

10.30 - 11.00: coffee break

11.00 - 12.30

  • Discussion about presentations of session 4:
    • how to visualize our research material into maps and networks. Contributing Gertjan Filarski, developer Huygens ING.
    • how to continue working on this material in view of the Milestone 3 conference, to be held in Poznan, November 2012, and to be announced here by Magdalena Koch.

12.30 - 14.00: lunch

14.00 - 15.00

15.00 - 16.30

Session 5: Looking from the outside
session president: Nadezhda Alexandrova

16.30 - 17.00: coffee break

17.00 – 18.00

  • Discussion about presentations of sessions 4 and 5: visualizing our research material.
    • Discussion with contribution by Gertjan Filarski.
    • Facing the further away future: research to be planned, connections to be created, proposals to be/being formulated. Contributions by Henriette Partzsch and Madeleine Jeay.

18.00 - 19.00

  • Working Groups meeting I

Dinner free


9.00 – 11.00

Session 6: The Influence of Western Ideas
session president: Nancy Isenberg

11.00 - 11.30: coffee break

11.30 - 12.30

  • Working Groups meeting II

12.30 - 14.00: lunch

14.00 – 15.30

Session 7: International figures (19th century)
session president: Katerina Dalakoura

16.00 - 17.00

  • WGs meeting III


The organisation of this Workshop in Bucharest allowed us to focus on the ways in which women – as authors – have contributed to establishing contacts between the Western and the Eastern part of Europe: between, for instance, Norway and Finland, Ireland and Russia, Spain and Poland; but also between Budapest and Paris (cf. Emilia Kanya), Bucharest and Domburg NL (cf. Carmen Sylva), Istanbul and London (cf. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu), again: taking these names just as examples..

Which influences were at play here? Increasing travelling possibilities? Need for money? Increasing education? Feminism? Political developments? Growing curiosity? In view of the third Milestone of our COST Action we will continue reflecting on what kind of factors were at stake when women put themselves to writing, publishing and entering into contact with readers. Some of them, and how to enter them in the records, have been discussed during the second COST year. We will find more of them….

On the technological level Visualizing was at stake: what kinds of "maps, trees, graphs" (cf. Moretti) do we want the database to generate for us, in view of our progression and approaching the questions on a larger scale?

  • Maps – showing influences (what kind?) going from West to East and vice versa?
  • Graphs – making visible proportions and percentages?
  • Trees – illustrating influences exerted by a work, an author, a group of authors? (cf. the present, still primitive, visualizing possibility).

This Workshop was preparatory to the November meeting, and helped explaining to developers what we need. Discussions focused on authors whose works and receptions had been entered into the WomenWriters database.

AsK, September 2012

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