A Feminist Genealogy of Automathographies

Arithmetic Personified: a female figure teaches arithmetic to a young boy. Renaissance fresco, Gentile da Fabriano,  Marcello Fedeli/Getty Images

Many thanks to the Leverhulme Trust for funding this research with a 

Major Reseach Fellowship

This interdisciplinary research project is a critical investigation of women’s involvement in the field of mathematics. It addresses the socio-historical, political and cultural conditions of their exclusion and explores gendered trails in the process of becoming a woman mathematician. The research deploys novel ways of archival research in the era of the digital turn and opens up new paths of memory work in the field of gender and science studies. It deploys narrative analysis of six women mathematicians’ auto/biographical documents, including autobiographies, diaries and letters, as well as their philosophical and literary writings. It draws on the notion of 'automathographies' from Paul Halmos influential book: 'I want to be a mathematician: an automathography', particularly focusing on the 18th and 19th centuries. 


Maria Gaetana Agnesi   (1718-1799)

Sophie Germain (1776-1831)

(1768-1797)


a translation project to become