Call for Papers 2023

October 18-20, 2023

Third Edition of AIWAC – Annual International Women in the Arts Conference

From the Amazons to the Guerrilla Girls. Warring Women in Art, Architecture and Literature

Convened by Consuelo Lollobrigida and Adelina Modesti
Organized by: University of Arkansas Rome Program

The third edition of AIWAC focuses on the matter of women warriors from the matriarchal period to contemporary times, with a particular emphasis on the ‘guerrilla girls movement’ and its concerns on the production and public display of art of and by women.

How did women approach the artist’s greatest and most difficult task to communicate the horrors of war? How have they represented its impact on women and children?

Since the beginning of history women were actively engaged in warfare to protect their lands, their people, their family or just themselves. As historical characters, they often wore male outfits to overcame the masculine bias, and span from the mythical Athena, goddess of war, to the Amazons and Valkyries, to Zenobia and Tomyris, from Joan of Arc, Catherine Sforza and the revolutionary Théroigne de Méricourt to the painter Elsie Gledstanes, an auxiliary ambulance driver in London during WWII. Such femmes fortes, including warrior queens like Semiramis and Artemisia, wielded great power and authority, as did the biblical heroine Judith, who saved her people from the enemy by assassinating the Assyrian general Holofernes.

The conference aims to see if and when art, architecture and literature have acknowledged the subject and how was it treated. At the same time we would recognize how warring women, such as Ethelfleda or the Great Countess Mathilda, were represented. What were the historical, social and political conditions in which artists – painters, sculptors, writers, philosophers – represented and acknowledged warring women? How were these women able to break the glass ceiling?

We particularly encourage papers which propose works done, but not only, by women, such as Margherita Sarrocchi’s “Scanderbeid” or Ethel Léontine Gabain’s “A Child Bomb Victim Receiving Penicillin Treatment”.

The Afghan photographer and activist Fatimah Hossaini will be present at the conference, as a keynote speaker.

The proposal can be art historical as well as philosophical, literary or technical in nature. Case studies as well as papers providing a broader view and/or of a more reflective nature are welcomed.

Conference papers will be published in the “AIWAC acta colloquia” postprint series in collaboration with Brepols Publishers.

To submit a proposal:
– Write an abstract in English in word; max. 500 words (excl. authors name(s) and contact details). Include a short bio of 150 words max.
– Save the proposal as following: AIWAC3_name and family name
– Include a short CV
– E-mail to,

  • Practical information:
  • Call for papers deadline: June 30, 2023
  • Successful applicants will receive a notification by July 31, 2023
  • The talks should be no longer than 20 minutes
  • The organizers cannot contribute towards transport and/or accommodation costs of speakers or attendees
  • A registration fee will be communicated along with the acceptance of papers.
  • Excluded papers won’t be notified.

The conference will take place at University of Arkansas Rome Center and will combine selected paper presentations with keynote speakers.The conference will be hybrid with in-presence and remote presentation.

The final program will be communicated in mid-September 2023.


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