Academic Session 35: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference & Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th to 8th April 2017
Women Artists and 20th-Century Authoritarian Regimes in Europe


Márcia Oliveira,
Maria Luísa Coelho,

The European 20th Century witnessed the proliferation of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, from Germany and Eastern Europe to the south of the continent, in countries such as Italy, Greece, Spain and Portugal. Different regimes led to different social, cultural and artistic interactions, which have indelibly marked Europe’s historical background as well as its present. The main questions addressed by this session are in what sense the relationship between women’s struggles in the general context of the political struggle for democracy has framed women’s art and the way women artists have placed themselves and their practices in regard to such a tense dialogue. Papers are expected to examine women’s artistic and creative practices in different dictatorial contexts, from communist and socialist to fascist regimes, enquiring on the role feminism and particularly feminist artistic practices played in oppositional and revolutionary processes by addressing issues such as, but not limited to, censorship, civil rights and class struggle, the economy of desire, consumption, family, gender and sexuality, identity and representation.

Points of further debate may include: Have different struggles for democracy integrated women’s rights or have they otherwise neglected them? How have women artists placed themselves within these revolutionary processes in terms of political engagement and in terms of their artistic and creative output? Was there room for feminism and for feminist art in such ideological circuits?

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts

Nina Lubbren (Anglia Ruskin University) Sculpture in 1937: Steger, Cauer, Mukhina

Withdrawn - Zsófia Gombár (CEAUL, Lisbon, Portugal) Two Women’s Exhibitions in Dictatorial Portugal

Antonio David Fiore (The Open University) Maria Immacolata Zaffuto (1888-1942): Crafting the antique during the fascist regime

Nadia Albaladejo García (University College Cork, Ireland) Remedios Varo and Domestic Space: Re-making the place of home in La Creación de las Aves

Ana Gabriela Macedo (CEHUM, Braga, Portugal) Paula Rego’s Unframing, Re-framing the Private/public Space of Domesticity and her De-camouflage of the ‘Status Quo’ of Salazar’s Regime in Portugal

Irene Gerogianni (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece) Women Performance Artists in Greece during (and right after) the Military Junta of 1967-1974

Zanna Gilbert (Getty Research Institute, USA) Missives from the GDR: Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt and the International Mail Art Network