Starving Women’s Bodies

AHA Session 249
Berkshire Conference of Women Historians 5
Coordinating Council for Women in History 6
Saturday, January 6, 2018: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
Virginia Suite A (Marriott Wardman Park, Lobby Level)
Mark Crowley, University of Wuhan
Identity, Trauma, and Iconography: German Women’s War Art, 1914–24
Janice Miller, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
You Are What You Eat: The Gendered Politics of Francoist Nutrition
Suzanne Dunai, University of California, San Diego
Sandra Trudgen Dawson, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Session Abstract


Remembering the Unthinkable: War, Food, Women’s Bodies and the Art of gendered Memory

This panel brings together three papers that explore some of the lived experiences of women during WWI, the Spanish Civil War and WWII. The panel discusses the racialized and gendered food policies of authoritarian regimes as well as the way those policies impacted on women’s bodies, professional identities and their art. Together, these papers suggest that women’s experiences of war can be used as a lens to view the gender policies of authoritarian regimes as well as the way women used the resources they had to cope with the memories of hunger, death and dying. While Dunai’s paper focuses on the plight of married women with children, both Chappine and Miller assess the impact of war and memory on the lives of the unmarried woman to demonstrate the need to move away from homogenous histories of “women” and women’s experiences of war.

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