What have the achievements of Women’s and Gender History, as a field of study, been in Italy? To what extent has it succeeded in making women’s history an integral part of academic enquiry rather than an optional specialist area? What impact has the study of manhood and masculinities had on our understanding of women’s lives? What is the relationship between gender studies and new critical histories of colonialism and empire, contact zones, cross-cultural encounters and racialisation? How is new work on cultural geography and spatial categories impacting our historical understandings of bodily differences?
The articles collected here are inspired by these questions, previously posed by Karen Offen and Chen Yan to an international group of historians. They discuss several critical themes, including: the challenges the field has experienced in the Italian institutional context and which it continues to face today; how we can move the conversation beyond Italy and Europe to other international arenas; and how to expand the research on topics like the history of masculinities, gay and lesbian studies, colonial studies, and global history.