WINK is an ERC-StG funded project (2019-2024) that researches the neglected written production of women in early European modernity in order to modify the single-gender paradigm of intellectual value. The project surveys sources in several European languages through a methodology based on trans-genre writing rather than on close genre types, allowing patterns of persuasive argumentation to emerge as intellectual input.

Approaching intellectual value as a category of gender analysis, WINK exposes the rhetorical models that have impinged on the social and cognitive processes identifying intellectual value as being androcentric, bringing to light transformative thinking from understudied and underrepresented women authors.

The research develops in four strands:


How much intellectual thought by women remains intact or underrepresented in writings from the early modern period?

The main research question examines the textual and stylistic factors that have promoted the invisibility of intellectual value in women’s writing across genres from the early modern period, a process of ‘male gendering’ of epistemological paradigms that the project defines as ‘textual misogyny’. The emphasis is on how the specifics of gender modify and inform the system of value production in intellectual thinking, rather than studying gender as opposing this system.


How did women writers articulate personal and communal experiences in writing?

WINK examines religious and autobiographical texts in order to understand how spirituality and life-writing themes shaped into ethical discourses on the common good.

WINK changes focus from the women writer to her text, employing a method of trans-genre analysis to retrieve intellectual value in women’s writing, while exposing the rhetorical models that have impinged on the social and cognitive processes identifying intellectual value as being androentric.

Cloud intertextualities

How did women writers construct complex and persuasive argumentation with or without sources?
WINK identifies and traces fragmented chains of intuitive argument in miscellanies and discursive narratives.
Rendering interpretations of these texts with approaches that disclose fragmented meaning in an intertextual relation with others compels us to tackle the concept of literary genre in a broad sense.

Textual porosity

How did women writers acquire and transmit knowledge from external sources?

WINK elucidates patterns of knowledge transference and authorial attribution in the management of sources.

It pays particular attention to social factors of de-attribution, that is, the practice of deliberate authorial exclusion, either self-induced or imposed. It carries out the qualitative analysis of translated/adapted texts, especially the processes of reverse attributions that emerge when comparing translated and adapted texts with their originals and near originals.

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