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Open access

Educating the Other

Foreign Governesses in Wallachia in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Nicoleta Roman


This article explores the role of foreign governesses in the early nineteenth century in the province of Wallachia, a principality in the southeastern part of present-day Romania and a peripheral territory at the intersection of the Habsburg, Russian, and Ottoman empires. It focuses on the professional integration of governesses into Romanian society, exploring their complementary routes of activity, both in private educational networks for the elite and in the emerging educational institutions for girls. Their cultural identities as transnational teachers sometimes collided with local perceptions and employers’ ambitions, and the study sheds light on the different categories of governesses and how they succeeded in keeping up with a certain model for governesses that prevailed in this period.

Open access

Instead of a Novel

Sophia Yablonska's Travelogues in the History of Modern Ukrainian Literature

Olena Haleta


This article focuses on the life and literary strategies of Sophia Yablonska (1907–1971), a self-identified Ukrainian camerawoman, photographer, and writer. While working for a French documentary production company, traveling around the world, and living in Morocco and China, Yablonska published three books of travelogues supported by hundreds of photos (The Charm of Morocco, 1932; From the Country of Rice and Opium, 1936; and Distant Horizons, 1939) that combine autobiographical and anthropological approaches and transgress poetic and narrative conventions. In her travelogues, Yablonska examines the contradictions between traditional and modern culture and expresses them in verbal and visual forms. Abandoning the genre of the novel for that of the travelogue, Sophia Yablonska transgressed literary and life norms in terms of genre, gender, anthropology, autobiography, perception, media, culture, and discourse. Her writings not only reveal other countries, but also show the formation of a modern personality in the process of writing.

Open access

Valentina Mitkova

Boiko Penchev, Nikolay Papuchiev, Noemi Stoichkova, Bilyana Borisova, Kristina Iordanova, Nadezhda Stoyanova, and Sirma Danova, eds., Literaturata: Udovolstvia i predizvikatelstva. Jubileen sbornik v chest na prof. Milena Kirova (The literature: Pleasures and challenges. Anniversary collection in honor of Prof. Milena Kirova), Sofia: University Press St. Kliment Ohridski, 2018, 728 pp., BGN 26 (hardback), ISBN: 978-954-074-573-2.

Kamelia Spasova, Darin Tenev, and Maria Kalinova, eds., Parachoveshkoto: Gracia i gravitacia. Jubileen sbornik v chest na prof. Miglena Nikolchina (The parahuman: Grace and gravity. Anniversary collection in honor of Prof. Miglena Nikolchina), Sofia: University Press St. Kliment Ohridski, 2017, 976 pp., BGN 30 (hardback), ISBN: 978-954-07-4268-7.

Lyudmila Malinova, Kristina Iordanova, and Marineli Dimitrova, eds., Zhenite v bulgarskata literatura i kultura (The women in Bulgarian literature and culture), Sofia: University Press St. Kliment Ohridski, 2018, 526 pp., BGN 22 (paperback), ISBN: 978-954-07-4363-9.

Open access

Public Health in Eastern Europe

Visible Modernization and Elusive Gender Transformation

Evguenia Davidova

Heike Karge, Friederike Kind-Kovacs, and Sara Bernasconi, eds., From the Midwife's Bag to the Patient's File: Public Health in Eastern Europe, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2017, vii–xix, 349 pp., $70.00/€62.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-963-386-208-7.

Constantin Barbulescu, Physicians, Peasants, and Modern Medicine: Imagining Rurality in Romania, 1860–1910, translated by Angela Jianu, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2018, xi–xii, 292 pp., $60.00/€50.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-963-386-267-4.

Open access

Stiletto Socialism

Social Class, Dressing Up, and Women's Self-Positioning in Socialist Slovenia

Polona Sitar


This article explores how women interpreted everyday clothing practices and decoration of their body and how they positioned themselves in different social milieus during the period of socialist Slovenia (1945–1991). The new socialist middle class in Slovenia and Yugoslavia was defined by participation in a lifestyle, created and expressed through consumption and behaviors that turned everyday life into a symbolic display of taste and cultural distinction. This article shows the ways women engaged in self-expression and negotiated dressing up. It analyzes the self-emancipation of women as they challenged the boundaries of social hierarchies on the basis of self-transformations, pointing out the active role that women had in their self-positioning in social categories.

Open access

Chiara Bonfiglioli

Jocelyn Olcott, International Women's Year: The Greatest Consciousness-Raising Event in History, Oxford University Press, 2017, 352 pp., $34.95 (paperback), ISBN: 978-0-19532-768-7.

Kristen Ghodsee, Second World, Second Sex: Socialist Women's Activism and Global Solidarity during the Cold War, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019, 306 pp. $25.35 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-47800-181-2.

Open access

“Amongst Affectionate Female Friends”

Same-Sex Intimacy in Nineteenth-Century Polish Correspondence

Natalie Cornett

Translation of a letter from Narcyza Żmichowska to Wanda Grabowska, 26 January 1864. Published in Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, ed., Narcyssa i Wanda: Listy Narcyzy Żmichowskiej do Wandy Grabowskiej (Żeleńskiej) (Narcyssa and Wanda: Letters from Narcyza Żmichowska to Wanda Grabowska [Żeleńska]) (Warsaw: Dom Książki Polskiej Spółka Akcyjna, 1930), pp. 32–34.

Open access

Becoming Communist

Ideals, Dreams, and Nightmares

Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild

Kelly Hignett, Melanie Ilic, Dalia Leinarte, and Corina Snitar, Women's Experiences of Repression in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, London: Routledge, 2018, xiii, 196 pp., $123.09 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-138-04692-4.

Lisa Kirschenbaum, International Communism and the Spanish Civil War: Solidarity and Suspicion, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015, xiii, 278 pp., $29.99 (paperback), ISBN: 978-1-131-622690-2.