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Oksana Kis

During the Soviet regime the meaning of International Women’s Day (IWD) in Ukraine changed dramatically: its original feminist essence was substituted with communist propaganda aimed at women’s mobilization for the construction of a radiant communist future. In recent decades 8 March turned into a holiday of spring, women’s beauty, and love, celebrated both in public settings and in Soviet families. By the late 1980s, Soviet citizens had interiorized the new ways to celebrate this day at which men and boys were expected (or even required) to solemnize the “eternal femininity” of their counterparts by expressing their love, respect, and attention to women and girls of all ages, to greet them with flowers and gifts and to fulfill all their (rather modest) wishes one day a year. The leaders of the Communist Party and the heads of local authorities developed the new tradition of publishing their holiday greetings to female citizens in the media, while directors of enterprises congratulated their female employees in more tangible ways, from flowers and letters of commendation to financial bonus or career promotion. While celebrating “Soviet women―the most liberated women in the world,” nobody was to speak about the multitude of gender inequalities persisting in late Soviet society, as the so-called woman question was proclaimed solved in the USSR long ago.

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Oksana Kis

Although the tragedy of the Holodomor (the Great Famine) of 1932 and 1933 figures prominently in public discourse and historical scholarship in Ukraine today, its gender dimension has not yet been examined. This article is based on an analysis of personal narratives of female survivors of the Holodomor, collected and published in Ukraine since the 1990s until now. It focuses on the peculiarities of women's experience of the Holodomor and explores women's strategies of resistance and survival in the harsh circumstances of genocide. It exposes a spectrum of women's agency at the grassroots and illuminates controversies around women's ways of coping with starvation. The article also discusses the methodological challenges and ethical issues faced by a Ukrainian female scholar studying women's experiences of famine.

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Krassimira Daskalova, Maria Bucur, Ivana Pantelić, Biljana Dojčinović, Gabriela Dudeková, Sabina Žnidaršič Žagar, Nina Vodopivec, Şirin Tekeli and Oksana Kis

After publishing a two-part Forum about women’s and gender studies in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) in Aspasia (vols. 4 and 5), this and the next issue of Aspasia will host a Forum about the “state of the art” of women’s and gender history in the same region. Women’s history as we know it as an academic discipline appeared in Western countries in the late 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Many practitioners in this period came from social history and/or were influenced by the overall progressive political climate of the 1960s and 1970s. Another important characteristic of the earlier period is that women’s history was one of the forerunners in women’s studies. But as important as this period was for the formation of our field, in many countries around the world women’s history is much older and was practiced by women and men in many different contexts and different ways, as the work of both Western—Gerda Lerner, Bonnie Smith, Natalie Zemon Davis, to name but a few, and East European historians has shown. Although we do not exclude the earlier developments in the field, the major aim of this Forum is to bring together contributions about the situation of women’s and gender history in CESEE during the past few decades.

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Orlin Sabev, Georgeta Nazarska, Ivan Chorvát, Maria Rentetzi, Tatyana Stoicheva, Jasmina Lukić, Alina Haliliuc, Raili Põldsaar, Alon Rachamimov, Sabina Žnidaršič, Grażyna Szelagowska and Oksana Kis

Elif Ekin Aksit, Kızların Sessizlig ̆i. Kız Enstitülerinin Uzun Tarihi (The silence of girls: The long history of female institutes) 206 Reviewed by Orlin Sabev

Tzvetana Boncheva, Brak I semejstvo pri balgarite katolitsi ot Plovdivsko prez parvata polovina na XX vek (Marriage and family life of the Bulgarian Catholics from the Plovdiv region during the first half of the twentieth century) Reviewed by Georgeta Nazarska

Zora Bútorová et al, She and He in Slovakia: Gender and Age in the Period of Transition Reviewed by Ivan Chorvát

Christine von Oertzen, The Pleasure of a Surplus Income: Part-Time Work, Gender Politics, and Social Change in West Germany, 1955–1969 Reviewed by Maria Rentetzi

Karl Kaser, Patriarchy after Patriarchy: Gender Relations in Turkey and in the Balkans, 1500–2000 Reviewed by Tatyana Stoicheva

Alaine Polcz, One Woman in the War. Hungary 1944–1945 Reviewed by Jasmina Lukić

Zoltán Rostás and Theodora-Eliza Va ̆ca ̆rescu, eds., Cealalta ̆ juma ̆tate a istoriei. Femei povestind (The other half of history: Women telling their stories) Reviewed by Alina Haliliuc

Suzanne Stiver Lie, Lynda Malik, Ilvi Jõe-Cannon and Rutt Hinrikus, eds., Carrying Linda’s Stones: An Anthology of Estonian Women’s Life Stories Reviewed by Raili Põldsaar

Laurie S. Stoff, They Fought for the Motherland: Russia’s Women Soldiers in World War I and the Revolution Reviewed by Alon Rachamimov

Nina Vodopivec, Labirinti postsocializma (The labyrinths of post-socialism) Reviewed by Sabina Žnidaršič

Anna Zarnowska, Workers, Women, and Social Change in Poland, 1870–1939 Reviewed by Grażyna Szelągowska

Tatyana Zhurzhenko, Gendernyye rynki Ukrainy: politicheskaya ekomomiya natsionalnogo stroitelstva (The gendered markets of Ukraine: The political economy of nation building) Reviewed by Oksana Kis

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Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Gabriela Dudeková, Philip Mann, Kristen Ghodsee, Susan Zimmerman, Alpern Engel, Rhoda Semple, Amelia Licheva, Christian Promitzer and Oksana Kis

Women, Communism, and Industrialization in Postwar Poland by Małgorzata Fidelis Barbara Klich-Kluczewska

The Politics of Gender Culture under State Socialism: An Expropriated Voice by Hana Havelková and Libora Oates-Indruchová (eds.) Gabriela Dudeková

Gendered Artistic Positions and Social Voices: Politics, Cinema, and the Visual Arts in State-Socialist and Post-Socialist Hungary by Beata Hock Philip Mann

Staging Socialist Femininity: Gender Politics and Folklore Performance in Serbia by Ana Hofman Kristen Ghodsee

Kohle für Stalin und Hitler: Arbeiten und Leben im Donbass 1929 bis 1953 (Coal for Stalin and Hitler. Working and living in the Donets basin 1929 to 1953) by Tanja Penter Susan Zimmermann

Bytovoe nasilie v istorii rossiiskoi povsednevnosti (XI–XXI vv.) (Domestic violence in the history of Russian everyday life [XI–XXI vv.]) by Marianna G. Muravyeva and Natalia L. Pushkareva, (eds.) Barbara Alpern Engel

Domestic Frontiers: Gender, Reform, and American Interventions in the Ottoman Balkans and the Near East, 1831–1908 by Barbara Reeves-Ellington Rhoda Semple

Zhenite v modernostta (Women in modernity) by Reneta Roshkeva and Nikolai Nenov (eds.) Amelia Licheva

Physical Anthropology, Race and Eugenics in Greece (1880s–1970s) by Sevasti Trubeta Christian Promitzer

Nezvychaini doli zvychainykh zhinok: Usna istoria XX stolittia (The extraordinary lives of ordinary women: Oral history of the twentieth century) by Iroida Wynnytsky (ed.) Oksana Kis