Appel à articles « Migrant women and their unknown success stories »
Across Europe, from early modern to present times
Migrant women and their unknown success stories
Call for contributions
The present collection of unknown stories is a complementary response
to current initiatives that advantage personalities as part of an
immigrational flow with influence on the European political and
cultural arena. However, all these omit to include into the discussion
the link between two factors (gender and migration), and do not
recognize and interpret the specificity, outcomes, and impact of
female transnational mobility. Marie Curie represents a well-known
example of the success a migrant woman had in the academia and in
France. Born in 1867 as Marie Skłodowska in a Poland that was under
the Russian Empire rule, she immigrated to France where she developed
her career as a physicist and chemist. Marie Curie also founded two
medical research institutes in both Poland (Warsaw) and France
(Paris), thus indirectly recognizing the influence these cultures had
on her. Through her discoveries and as a Nobel prize winner, Curie
became a pioneer in her field of specialization. In mid-nineteenth
century, in another corner of Europe, another Marie would become the
symbol of a free Romania. Marie Grant, born in 1819 in Guernsey,
Scotland, will come to the capital of nowadays Romania, Bucharest, as
a governess to teach the children of a local official. Acquainted with
the young generation of Romanians educated in the West, she was so
much involved in the 1848 local revolution that Daniel Rosenthal
represented Revolutionary Romania by painting her. This political
activism is one side of her activity. Another one is as publicist and
the founder of the first Romanian journal on child rearing and
education (Mama și copilul – Mother and child). Both these Maries were
highly inspirational for their times and receiving countries, but they
also represent the tip of the iceberg as many other women like them
The project takes a different approach and privileges those hidden
stories of women who influenced local communities and structures but
were either forgotten or marginalized in the face of what we might
call an event-based history. These women do not have a Wikipedia page
or if they have it is either short or incomplete. The aim of this
collection of stories is to follow the entanglements between gender,
migration, community and profession in order to highlight the routes
for success on different labour markets and cultural arenas.
Biographies should refer to women who had a contribution in art,
education, economy, welfare and culture in their receiving country.
Other fields of action are also welcomed.
Such a story is made around the following elements:
1) Biographical details that refer to places and dates of birth/death,
family and acquaintances, educational background and so on. The
context of each woman’s activity is also relevant and should be tackled.
2) Migration route and motifs of migration. Marriage is not seen as an
impediment as many women were active and influential despite their
civil status (see the above examples).
3) Professional or economic group to which she belongs. The relation
between the woman and her economic / professional group should be
clearly stated as well as the relevance of her example.
4) Economic means. This aspect refers to those resources that helped
the woman to succeed in her activity. It might be of a financial or of
5) Achievements. Besides the significance for her social group, such a
biography should highlight the woman’s accomplishments in why she
remained important for the community / profession / society in general.
Authors who want to contribute should send a short presentation of
each of their entries highlighting the significance of the biography
and in what way it connects with the call (ca. 500 words/entry) by 7
May 2021 to the book coordinators:
Nicoleta Roman (‘Nicolae Iorga’ Institute of History & New Europe
Beatrice Zucca Micheletto (University of Cambridge & University of
After acceptance, these entries will be developed into short stories
that will follow the announced structure.