The conference, Women with absent husbands, from antiquity to modern times: on land, at sea, and overseas (Europe – North America)will be an opportunity to reflect on the condition and daily lives of married women experiencing the temporary absence of their husbands.

This includes a wide range of situations, varying according to the reason for the absence (work at sea, imprisonment, war, migration, seasonal work, religion, and so on) and their terms (voluntary or enforced) and location (city, country, seaside, mountain, island, colony, etc.), as well as the wife’s age, the presence of children, the social milieu, and whether or not the wives can rely on support networks of family and friends.

Whereas widowhood—resulting from the definitive absence of husbands—and celibacy have been the subject of numerous primary and secondary research studies, the solitude of married women, temporarily removed from male oversight, has received relatively little attention.

The symposium is organized in partnership with Centre International de la Mer (Rochefort) with support from Framespa-UMR 5136, CRHIA-EA 1163, CRIHAM-EA 4270, LaSSP-EA 4175, Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, IEP-Toulouse, Université de Sherbrooke in Québec, Université de Poitiers, and Université de La Rochelle.


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