restricted access What, Where, When, and Sometimes Why: Data Mining Two Decades of Women’s History Abstracts
Abstract

“What, Where, When and Sometimes Why” provides a quantitative overview of post-c.1450 women’s history publications by data mining a half million abstracts from two widely used article databases. We assess changes in the field and track the relationship between women’s history as a subfield and history as a whole. Among many other findings, we argue against two popular beliefs about women’s history: that women’s historians are overly-focused on recent history and that women’s and gender history is an ever increasing proportion of the profession. We trace publication shifts from 1985–2005, showing, for example, an increasing focus on various non-Western and nineteenth-century histories. Our case study on the history of sexuality finds minimal attention to reproduction and same-sex sexuality, and more thematic similarities across time periods than regions. We conclude by suggesting areas for future research, including the expansion of quantitative studies, of non-Western histories, and of professional activism as means to further develop women’s history scholarship.


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