International Workshop: “Atlantic Encounters and Female Initiatives: Women in Coastal West and West Central Africa, 1500–1880”

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This workshop will bring together senior, mid-career and junior scholars working on women and gender in coastal Africa before 1880, and explore how trade and the accumulation of capital allowed women to enjoy autonomy and mobility in the past. To be held at Notre Dame’s Dublin Global Gateway in March 2017, the workshop will increase awareness of global issues and human development. A better understanding of the roles African women assumed and enjoyed in the past will illuminate how present situations are similar/different from former ones. The workshop and the edited volume to follow will provide tools to deconstruct narratives that gender inequalities are intrinsic to African societies, showing how situations were different before the twentieth century. Both focus on commerce, interaction, human and economic development in historical perspective. Moreover, the workshop and the publication will shed light on African women, underrepresented in historical studies.