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NOT Finding Women in the Archives

The Case of Evgeniia Serebrennikova, Pioneering Woman Physician in Late Nineteenth-Century Russia

Michelle DenBeste

Abstract

This article examines the life of one early woman doctor, Evgeniia Serebrennikova (1854–1897), a graduate of the St. Petersburg women’s medical courses and an eye doctor in Perm. Serebrennikova established an eye clinic in Perm, wrote numerous articles, gave talks at medical conferences at home and abroad, and was a fixture in Perm’s philanthropic life. Despite these achievements, there are few traces of her in the archives. The article also discusses the author’s research trajectory and the difficulties involved in finding evidence about women such as Serebrennikova.

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Pınar Melis Yelsalı Parmaksız

Abstract

Modernization in Turkey started in the late Ottoman period as a social critique and took shape when the Turkish Republic was established as a modern nation-state in 1923. Women’s emancipation, which was inherent in the ideas of modernization, was one of the most important components of the Republican reforms. Subsequently, the reforms were implemented to attain women’s emancipation in a nationalist context. This article discusses the specific characteristics of the nationalist solution to gender issues in Turkey’s modernization. My argument is that the organization of political power as well as family life in Turkey rested on paternalism, meaning the father’s symbolic and actual power over others. Paternalism in Turkish modernization on the one hand provided a basis for justification of the authoritarian rule of the state and on the other hand enabled women to become modern, though the limits of their modernity were determined by the paternal authority. I focus on paternalism in the single-party years of the Republic and also discuss the current policies of the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (Justice and Development Party, AKP) rule regarding gender and modernization, to show that the concept of paternalism remains relevant to understanding the gender regime in Turkey.

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Melissa Feinberg

Source citation: “The Decline of Family Life,” Item #687/54, 29 January 1954, Open Society Archive, Budapest (HU-OSA), fond 300–1-2 (Records of Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty Research Institute: General Records: Information Items), microfilm reel 33. This source is also available in the Open Society Archive’s online collection. The online citation is: “The Decline of Family Life,” 29 January 1954. HU-OSA300–1-2–43100; Records of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute: General Records: Information Items. http://www.osaarchivum.org/greenfield/repository/osa:e831c10f-9229–4fdb-a45a-4b059f4dceeb (accessed 1.10.2015).

This translation is published with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.

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Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild

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Ten Years After

Communism and Feminism Revisited

Francisca de Haan, Kristen Ghodsee, Krassimira Daskalova, Magdalena Grabowska, Jasmina Lukić, Chiara Bonfiglioli, Raluca Maria Popa, and Alexandra Ghit

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A Woman Politician in the Cold War Balkans

From Biography to History

Krassimira Daskalova

Abstract

This article is an attempt to shed more light on the topic of state socialist feminism in Eastern Europe by focusing on part of the biography of one of the most visible women’s activists and political functionaries in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe after 1944, Tsola Dragoicheva. It should be considered as a contribution to the ongoing debate regarding the character of state socialist measures toward women and the “gender contract” in the countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe between 1944 and 1989. It does not pretend, however, to cover and evaluate Dragoicheva’s entire life (or to agree with everything she did) or to create an exhaustive picture of state socialist measures toward women in Bulgaria (nor does it underestimate the significance of structured gender inequalities, which often remain unnoticed); rather, it discusses some facts and procedures dealing with “women’s issues” that researchers have only vaguely covered so far. The study is based on various archival materials from Bulgarian and international archives, and on the periodical press from the period under consideration, oral history interviews, and scholarly publications relevant to this topic. It is part of an ongoing project on Gendering Balkan Nation-States.

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Elif Mahir Metinsoy

Abstract

Ordinary women are among the least known subjects of Ottoman Turkish historiography. One of the most important reasons for this lack of information is that the Turkish archives are not organized in such a way that researchers can easily access documents on ordinary women. However, the difficulty in finding women’s voices in historical documents is only one part of the problem. Whereas conventional Ottoman-Turkish historiography prioritizes the acts of those holding power, most Turkish feminist historiography focuses on the organized activities of elite and middle-class women rather than ordinary women due to various paradigmatic and methodological restrictions. This article explains these limitations and proposes less conventional methods for conducting research on ordinary Ottoman women, who were important actors on the home front during World War I. It discusses theoretical approaches, methodology, and alternative sources that can be used to conduct research on women in the Turkish archives. It also presents some examples of ordinary Ottoman women’s voices and everyday struggles against the violence they suffered during World War I, using new, alternative sources like women’s petitions and telegrams to the state bureaucracy as well as folk songs.

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Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Gabriela Dudeková, Philip Mann, Kristen Ghodsee, Susan Zimmermann, Barbara Alpern Engel, Rhonda 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

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Valentina Mitkova

Albena Vacheva, V periferiata na kanona. Bulgarskite pisatelki prez purvata polovina na 20 vek (In the periphery of the canon. Bulgarian women writers in the first half of the twentieth century), Sofia: Prosveta, 2014, 372 pp., 17.00 BGN (pb), ISBN 978-9-54012-831-3.

Milena Kirova, ed., Neslucheniat kanon: Bulgarski pisatelki ot 1944 godina do nashi dni (The canon that did not happen: Bulgarian writers from 1944 to the present day), Sofia: Altera, 2014, 512 pp., 18.00 BGN (pb), ISBN 978-9-54975-792-7.

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Converging Suffrage Politics

The Romanian Women's Movement in Hungary and Its Allies before World War I

Oana Sînziana Păltineanu

This article focuses on the Romanian women's movement in Hungary before World War I and on its veiled suffrage politics. The first part of the article presents an overview of the organizational history of the Romanian women's movement from 1850 to 1914. The establishment of the Union of the Romanian Women in Hungary in 1913 constitutes a key event in this account. The second part of the article addresses the politics behind the Union and explores the converging suffrage politics of two more historical actors: the internationalization strategies of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA) and the suffrage politics of the Romanian National Party in Hungary. The article concludes that the Union's actions resembled those of similar organizations in Austria-Hungary that sought to join the IWSA, indicating that the Union may have been preparing to adopt a pro-suffrage position.