1 School of Culture and Society - History, subject, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University2 School of Culture and Society - History, subject, School of Culture and Society, Arts, Aarhus University
Gendered career opportunitues at the University of Copenhagen, 1875-1925Kønnede karrieremuligheder ved Københavns Universitet, 1875-1925
In Denmark women gained academic citizenship in 1875 but it took almost half a century before they obtained formal access to the professorships. Contrary to Germany where the mandarins – to use Fritz K. Ringer’s term – opposed women’s entrance into the academic world, the Danish case was much more double sided. Though there was indeed a strong opposition against female students and their membership of the students’ associations, there was also a stronger and stronger group among the mandarins who not only accepted women but even welcomed them – also to university chairs should they be qualified. Around the turn of the century the modernizers had prevailed. From the beginning of the 20th century a woman would without much doubt have been appointed to a professorship if she had been thought to be the best candidate. One of the main reasons why this did not happen is, of course, that few women were qualified and even fewer applied for a university chair. This paper aims at showing that the academic culture is to blame as well: While a student might be a woman, another academic key concept continued to have a gendered, masculine character: that of videnskab, equivalent to German Wissenschaft. Thus bad Wissenschaft could be termed feminine, and women were consistently thought only to do Wissenschaft of minor value, e.g. to reproduce and not produce knowledge. Strikingly, this conception was only to a small degree opposed by the modernizers – or by the university women themselves.