Clara-Anna Egger


Clara-Anna Egger studied History and English and American Studies at the University of Vienna. She graduated with a diploma thesis (Mag.a phil.) on Austrian post-war women in the culture of remembrance and the homogenization of the living realities of these women. In October 2020 she was awarded the Histcult:doc Fellowship of the Vienna Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies. Her current research project, supervised by Johanna Gehmacher and Nadja Gernalzick,  “Practicing Feminist Internationalism” deals with the internationalization of the women’s peace movement 1918 – 1939.

Research interests: Women’s and Gender History, 20th Century Women’s Rights Activism, Pacifism and Pacifist Movements, Travel History, Auto-/Biography Studies.

Current research project: After the Great War, the women’s rights movement successfully reconstituted and came to fore with the aim to further facilitate cross-border connections and expand the international feminist network born out of the suffrage movement. The three major international women’s movement organizations (ICW, IAW and WILPF) sought to adapt to a new prevalent sense of internationalism after World War I. In my thesis, I will focus on the lesser-researched Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; the oldest, still existing women’s peace organization in the world. For the members of WILPF feminism and pacifism were closely intertwined, and with the deeply rooted conviction that without permanent peace, women will not obtain equality to men, WILPF tried to advance their cause by using various methods. One of such were the travels of the members who could afford to voyage extensively. In my project, I will follow the tracks of some members of the British and US-American WILPF sections on their journeys through Continental Europe from 1919 to 1939. In analyzing autobiographical writings (e.g., letters, diaries) and the official WILPF documents, I seek to demonstrate how the activists used traveling to advocate for peace and women’s rights. Furthermore, I will investigate how the feminist pacifists evaluated the unstable situation in Continental Europe after the Great War and the years preceding WWII.