The Memorial Museum of the Victims of Communism and of the Resistance is the main museum of communism in Romania. This article a ends to this museum's politics of representing gender and argues that its exhibits reify resistance to and victimization by the communist regime as masculine. The museum marginalizes women, in general, and renders unmemorable women's lives under Nicolae Ceauşescu's pronatalist regime, in particular. The absence is significant because Romania is the only country in the former communist bloc where women experienced unique forms of systematic political victimization under Ceauşescu's nationalist-socialist politics of forced birth. This article illustrates how the museum's investment in an anti-communist discourse creates a gendered representation of political action under the communist regime.
Gender and Public Memory in the Sighet Museum, Romania
An Essential Resource
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. A Comprehensive Bibliography. Volume I. Southeastern and East Central Europe. Edited by Irina Livezeanu with June Pachuta Farris for the Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS), Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2007, xvi + 892 pp., (hb) ISBN 978-0-76560-737-9.
Women and Gender in Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia. A Comprehensive Bibliography. Volume II. Russia, the Non-Russian Peoples of the Russian Federation, and the Successor States of the Soviet Union. Edited by Mary Zirin and Christine D. Worobec for the Association for Women in Slavic Studies, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2007, xix + 1200 pp., $388.95 (for both volumes together), hb; ISBN 978-0-76560-737-9.
Christian Promitzer, Eleni Fournaraki, Zorica Bečanović-Nikolić, Susanne Kröhnert-Othman, Olga Todorova, Marian J. Rubchak, Velisalva Petrova, Rebecca Nagel, Philippa Hetherington, Timothy Ashplant, Susan Zimmermann, Ana Luleva, and Natalia Novikova
Svetla Baloutzova, Demography and Nation. Social Legislation and Population Policy in Bulgaria, 1918–1944, Budapest and New York: Central European University Press (Central European University Press Studies in the History of Medicine, vol. 1), 296 pp., $45.00/ €39.95/£35.00 (hb), ISBN 978-963-9776-66-1.
Katerina I. Dalakoura, I ekpaideusi ton gunaikon stis hellenikes koinotetes tis Othomanikis autokratorias (19os aionas–1922). Koinonikopoiesi sta protipa tis patriarchias kai tou ethnikismou (Women’s education in the Greek communities of the Ottoman Empire (19th century– 1922). Socialization according to the models of patriarchy and nationalism), Athens: Gutenberg, 2008, 450 pp., € 33.50 (pb), ISBN 978-960-01-1173-6.
Biljana Dojčinović, Susreti u tami. Uvod u čitanje Virdžinije Vulf (Encounters in the dark. An introduction to reading Virginia Woolf), Belgrade: Službeni glasnik, 2011, 136 pp., €5 (pb), ISBN 978-86-519-0814-2.
Umut Erel, Migrant Women Transforming Citizenship: Life-Stories from Britain and Germany, Farnham: Ashgate, 2009, 220 pp., £55, ISBN 978- 0-7546-7494-8 .
Haim Gerber, State and Society in the Ottoman Empire (Variorum Collected Studies Series, 944), Farnham-Burlington: Ashgate, 2010, pp. xvi + 296, £72.00 (hb), ISBN 978-0-7546-6985-2.
Oksana Kis’, Zhinka v tradytsiinii Ukraïnskii kul’turi (Woman in traditional Ukrainian culture), L’viv, Ukraine: National Academy of Ukraine, 2008, 271 pp., ISBN 978-966-02-5072-7.
Ivan Elenkov and Daniela Koleva, eds., Detstvoto pri sotsializma: Politicheski, institutsionalni i biografichni perspectivi (Childhood under socialism: Political, institutional and biographical perspectives), Sofia: Center for Advanced Studies-Sofia/Riva, 2010, 208 pp., 11,40 lv, ISBN 978-954-320-281-2.
Theodore Koulouris, Hellenism and Loss in the Work of Virginia Woolf, Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2011, 242 pp., US$114.95 (hb), ISBN 978-1-4094-0445-3.
Sharon A. Kowalsky, Deviant Women: Female Crime and Criminology in Revolutionary Russia, 1880–1930, DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 2009, 330 pp., US$42.00 (hb), ISBN 978-08-758-0406-4.
Dalia Leinarte, Adopting and Remembering Soviet Reality: Life Stories of Lithuanian Women, 1945–1970, Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 2010, 234 pp., ISBN 978-90-420-3062-6.
Heidi Niederkofler, Maria Mesner, Johanna Zechner, eds., Frauentag! Erfindung und Karriere einer Tradition (Women’s Day! Invention and career of a tradition) (= Kataloge des Österreichischen Museums für Volkskunde, vol. 93), Vienna: Löcker Verlag, 2011, 344 pp., €29.80 (pb), ISBN 978-3-85409-585-9.
Kristina Popova, Marijana Piskova, Margareth Lanzinger, Nikola Langreiter, and Petar Vodenicharov, eds., Women and Minorities Ar- chives: Ways of Archiving, Sofia and Vienna: SEMARSh, 2009, 291 pp., ISBN 978-954-9590-03-6.
Natalia Pushkareva, Gendernaia teoriia i istoricheskoe znanie (Gender theory and historical knowledge), St. Petersburg: Aletheia, 2007, 496 pp., ISBN 978-5-91419-007-8.
Women's and Gender History in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (Part One)
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.
The Greek Course of International Women's Day, 1924–2010
This article examines the history of International Women's Day (IWD) in Greece from its first celebration in 1924 until 2010. IWD was introduced in Greece by the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) and remained a communist ritual for fifty years. After the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974, the anniversary gradually acquired a wide acceptance and has since been adopted by feminist groups and organizations, trade unions, and parties from the entire political spectrum. The article follows the transformations of the celebration, explores its nebulous genealogy and the myths about its origins, and discusses its impressive ability to survive in diverse socio-political contexts.
Francisca de Haan
The year 2010 marked the centennial of International Women’s Day (IWD); the year 2011 marked the centennial of its first celebrations, which took place in Austria, Denmark, Germany, partitioned Poland, Switzerland, and no doubt other places. Inspired by these events, the theme section of this volume deals with “A Hundred Years of International Women’s Day in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe,” with articles focusing on Russia, the Polish lands, and Greece. In addition, we review the book Frauentag! (Women’s Day!), a collection of essays that accompanied an exhibition in Vienna on the occasion of IWD’s first centennial; and the News and Miscellanea section features a report on recent IWD-related events in Ukraine, including two exhibitions.
International Women's Day, the First Decade
Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
The year 2010 was the centennial of Clara Zetkin's proposal for an annual women's holiday, which became known as International Women's Day, and 2011 was the centennial of its first celebrations. The first ten years of the holiday's existence were a particularly tumultuous time in world history, with the advent of World War I, revolutionary upheavals in some of the major combatant countries, and the demise of the German, Habsburg, Ottoman, and Russian empires. During this time, International Women's Day celebrations quickly gained great popularity, and in 1917 sparked the February Russian Revolution. This article focuses on the development of the holiday from its U.S. and Western European origins and goal of women's suff rage, to its role in empowering Russian women to spark a revolution, and its re-branding as a Soviet communist celebration. Special attention is paid to the roles of two prominent international socialist women leaders, Zetkin and Alexandra Kollontai, in shaping the holiday's evolution.
The Observations of a Russian Woman Traveler (1868)
This article examines Maria F. Karlova's relatively unknown travelogue about her visit to Ottoman Macedonia and Albania in 1868. She was a sister of the prominent Slavist scholar and diplomat Alexander F. Gil'ferding and traveled with him. She appears to be the only known Russian female traveler to publish a travelogue about the Ottoman Balkans until the late 1870s. Karlova constructs her gender identity through elite lenses against three principal backdrops: the Turkish province, Europe, and Russia. She offers an example of how gender and class can be inserted into discourses about Russian identity and Russia's place in Europe's symbolic map of modernity. She also introduces gender issues into debates about Russia's political interests and Slavophile views about the Balkans. This article argues that Karlova asserts her sense of belonging to European elite culture in order to raise the issue of women's emancipation. The travelogue provides insights into the process of gender construction in Russia. The intertwined themes of gender, class, and national identity are compared to contemporaneous Victorian women's travelogues.
Igor Semenovich Kon (1928–2011)
Igor Kon, a full member of the Russian Academy of Education and an outstanding Russian anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist, and teacher who opened up a series of new directions in each of these areas, including a gender perspective, unexpectedly died on 27 April 2011. He did not show his illness, remaining youthful looking until the end. A shining example of openness to all that was new and to personal freedom, he was modest, unbelievably self-sufficient, and able to explain the advantages of such a life choice. Igor Kon wrote about his life, full of difficulties, and the history of his overcoming them, in his autobiography 80 let odinochestva (Eighty years of solitude), published in 2008, which became an instant best seller in Russia. It was read not only by members of his generation but also by young people.
Kak v revoliutsionnoe vremia Vserossiiskaia Liga Ravnopraviia Zhenshchin dobilas' izbiratel'nykh prav dlia russkikh zhenshchin
(How in the revolutionary time the All-Russian League for Women's Equal Rights won suffrage for Russian women)
Olga Zakuta and Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild
The text below was published by Olga Zakuta as a brochure in 1917. Olga Zakuta was a member of the Board of the Vserossiiskaia Liga Ravnopraviia Zhenshchin (Russian League for Women’s Equal Rights) when she wrote this vivid description of the demonstration of 19 March 1917 in revolutionary Petrograd that won Russian women suffrage. Little else is known about her.