International Hybrid Workshop: Women of the Waterfront. Gendering Ports, Careers, Relations and (Everyday) Life Trajectories in Modern Times

Rome, 6-7 December 2023 – Casa Internazionale delle Donne (Sala Simonetta Tosi)

The workshop aims to highlight the modalities through which gender (dis)affiliation shaped or influenced labour and/or business cultures, the relations between sexes, classes, generations, nationalities/‘races’ or other kinds of belonging, and, finally, everyday life patterns in (imperial/colonial) European port/emporium cities in Modern times (19th–20th centuries).


When uttering the word ‘port’, the first image that comes to mind, after ships and docks, is that of a sailor, a merchant, a traveller/tourist or, finally, a migrant. In the collective imaginary, all these subjects are men, and, in the same way, city ports are usually gendered as masculine environments. Nevertheless, considering that local men – in their turn sailors, merchants, travellers or migrants – were often and for long periods away from home, the urban-maritime contexts were actually spaces that allowed women, especially of the lower classes, noticeable economic, social, relational and cultural agency.

In this regard, it is essential to understand that women also chose to leave their home communities to pursue novel labour, social and economic horizons, often in other city ports and frequently overseas. In doing so, those migrant female workers/entrepreneurs were also able to reconfigure and reframe gender relations and roles outside the mainstream and dominant socio-cultural norms.

The workshop is open to the public and it will be held in hybrid mode. For info and registration to attend the workshop on-line, please contact:
Erica Mezzoli
(NextGenerationEu Project ‘Ondine’ – Tor Vergata University of Rome)

WoW Poster

WoW Programme

WoW Abstracts

WoW Speakers

The workshop is organised in the framework of the NextGenerationEU Project ‘Ondine. Women’s Labour and Everyday Life on the Upper and Eastern Adriatic Waterfronts, mid-19th century–mid-20th century’ (Funded by EU; CUP E53C22002420001) hosted by the Department of History, Humanities and Society of the Tor Vergata University of Rome.