This salon puts the spotlight on new approaches in social history that have been greatly facilitated by the digital turn. Two research projects focusing on the long-term history of everyday life explain how they use digital tools to study practices, and show how systematic analyses of practices contribute to a better understanding of gendered experiences in the past.
ACUH members Danielle van den Heuvel, Bob Pierik and Marie Yasunaga will analyse the gendering of urban space in the early modern city. It is widely held that between 1600 and 1850, women gradually withdrew from the public sphere of the street and moved to the private sphere of the home. Our project offers a pioneering approach to the study of gendered urban space. It enables for the first time to move beyond the public/private dichotomy and analyse women’s access to pre-industrial streets in full. Through an analysis of the ‘ownership’ of streets, both formally by authorities and informally through daily use, we uncover how urban space was gendered in the run up to the nineteenth century.
Each team member of The Freedom of the streets project focuses on a specific city or a specific theme. Bob Pierik and Marie Yasunaga study two of the most important cities in the early modern world: Amsterdam and Edo (present-day Tokyo). Danielle van den Heuvel analyses how the access of women to pre-industrial streets was shaped in contrasting European and Asian urban communities.