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Between Trauma and Resilience

A Transnational Reading of Women's Life Writing about Wartime Rape in Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Agatha Schwartz and Tatjana Takševa

Abstract

This article discusses the personal narratives (both published and personal interviews collected for the purpose of this study) of female survivors of wartime rape in post–World War II Germany and postconflict Bosnia and Herzegovina. The authors examine how the women succeed in finding their words both for and beyond the rupture caused by the rapes through examples of life writing that challenge the dominant masculinist historical narrative of war created for ideological reasons and for the benefit of the nation-state. Using theories of trauma and insights by feminist scholars and historians, the authors argue that a transnational reading of survivors’ accounts from these very different geopolitical and historical contexts not only shows multiple points of mutual influence, but also how these narratives can make a significant contribution, both locally and globally, when it comes to revisiting how wartime rape is memorialized, and how lessons learned from the two contexts can be relevant and applicable in other situations of armed conflict as well.

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Book Reviews

Hegelianisms without Metaphysics?

David James, Bahareh Ebne Alian, and Jean Terrier

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Maria Bucur, Alexandra Ghit, Ayşe Durakbaşa, Ivana Pantelić, Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild, Elizabeth A. Wood, Anna Müller, Galina Goncharova, Zorana Antonijević, Katarzyna Sierakowska, Andrea Feldman, Maria Kokkinou, Alexandra Zavos, Marija M. Bulatović, Siobhán Hearne, and Rayna Gavrilova

Cristina A. Bejan, Intellectuals and Fascism in Interwar Romania: The Criterion Association, Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave, 2019, 323 pp., €74.89 (hardback), ISBN 978-3-030-20164-7.

Chiara Bonfiglioli, Women and Industry in the Balkans: The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav Textile Sector, London: I. B. Tauris, 2020, 232 pp., £85 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-78533-598-3.

Aslı Davaz, Eşitsiz kız kardeşlik, uluslararası ve Ortadoğu kadın hareketleri, 1935 Kongresi ve Türk Kadın Birliği (Unequal sisterhood, international and Middle Eastern women's movements, 1935 Congress and the Turkish Women's Union), İstanbul: Türkiye İş Bankası, 2014, 892 pp., with an introduction by Yıldız Ecevit, pp. xxi–xxviii; preface by the author, pp. xxix–xlix, TL 42 (hardcover), ISBN: 978-605-332-296-2.

Biljana Dojčinović and Ana Kolarić, eds., Feministički časopisi u Srbiji: Teorija, aktivizam i umetničke prakse u 1990-im i 2000-im (Feminist periodicals in Serbia: Theory, activism, and artistic practice in the 1990s and 2000s), Belgrade: Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, 2018, 370 pp., price not listed (paperback), ISBN: 978-86-6153-515-4.

Melanie Ilic, ed., The Palgrave Handbook of Women and Gender in Twentieth-Century Russia and the Soviet Union, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, 572 pp., $239 (e-book) ISBN: 978-1-137-54904-4; ISBN: 978-1-137-54905-1.

Luciana M. Jinga, ed., The Other Half of Communism: Women's Outlook, in History of Communism in Europe, vol. 8, Bucharest: Zeta Books, 2018, 348 pp., USD 40 (paperback), ISBN: 978-606-697-070-9.

Teresa Kulawik and Zhanna Kravchenko, eds., Borderlands in European Gender Studies: Beyond the East-West Frontier, New York: Routledge, 2020, 264 pp., $140.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-0-367-25896-2.

Jill Massino, Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, the State, and Everyday Life in Socialist and Postsocialist Romania, New York: Berghahn Books, 2019, 466 pp., USD 122 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-785-33598-3.

Gergana Mircheva, (A)normalnost i dostap do publichnostta: Socialno-institucionalni prostranstva na biomedicinskite discursi v Bulgaria (1878–1939) ([Ab]normality and access to publicity: Social-institutional spaces of biomedicine discourses in Bulgaria [1878–1939]), Sofia: St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 2018, 487 pp., BGN 16 (paperback), ISBN: 978-954-07-4474-2.

Milutin A. Popović, Zatvorenice, album ženskog odeljenja Požarevačkog kaznenog zavoda sa statistikom (1898) (Prisoners, the album of the women's section of Požarevac penitentiary with statistics, 1898), edited by Svetlana Tomić, Belgrade: Laguna, 2017, 333 pp., RSD 894 (paperback), ISBN: 978-86-521-2798-6.

Irena Protassewicz, A Polish Woman's Experience in World War II: Conflict, Deportation and Exile, edited by Hubert Zawadzki, with Meg Knott, translated by Hubert Zawadzki, London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, xxv pp. +257 pp., £73.38 (hardback), ISBN: 978-1-3500-7992-2.

Zilka Spahić Šiljak, ed., Bosanski labirint: Kultura, rod i liderstvo (Bosnian labyrinth: Culture, gender, and leadership), Sarajevo and Zagreb: TPO Fondacija and Buybook, 2019, xii +213 pp., no price listed (paperback), ISBN: 978-9926-422-16-5.

Gonda Van Steen, Adoption, Memory and Cold War Greece: Kid pro quo?, University of Michigan Press, 2019, 350 pp., $85.00 (hardback), ISBN: 978-0-472-13158-7.

Dimitra Vassiliadou, Ston tropiko tis grafis: Oikogeneiakoi desmoi kai synaisthimata stin astiki Ellada (1850–1930) (The tropic of writing: Family ties and emotions in modern Greece [1850–1930]), Athens: Gutenberg, 2018, 291 pp., 16.00 € (paperback), ISBN: 978-960-01-1940-4.

Radina Vučetić, Coca-Cola Socialism: Americanization of Yugoslav Culture in the Sixties, English translation by John K. Cox, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2018, 334 pp., €58.00 (paperback), ISBN: 978-963-386-200-1.

Nancy M. Wingfield, The World of Prostitution in Late Imperial Austria, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, xvi +272 pp., $80 (hardback), ISBN: 978-0-19880-165-8.

Anastasia Lakhtikova, Angela Brintlinger, and Irina Glushchenko, eds., Seasoned Socialism: Gender and Food in Late Soviet Everyday Life, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2019, xix +373 pp., $68.41(hardback), ISBN: 978-0-253-04095-4.

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Book Roundtable

Discussion text: Chin, C. 2018. The Practice of Political Theory: Rorty and Continental Thought.

Lasse Thomassen, Joe Hoover, David Owen, Paul Patton, and Clayton Chin

Open access

Ioana Cîrstocea

Abstract

Established in the aftermath of the Cold War and animated by US-based scholars and activists experienced in the second wave of women's liberation movements, the Network of East-West Women (NEWW) has received little attention from scholars. This transnational and transregional group played an instrumental role in triggering and structuring the circulation of information, contacts, and academic and activist publications dedicated to women in Central and Eastern Europe, and in conceptualizing new gender politics in that region after the end of the socialist regimes. Building on original empirical evidence (archive work and interviews), this article considers NEWW's founding and its steps in establishing operations “beyond borders” in the 1990s—a time of professionalizing and globalizing women's rights politics when transnational feminist activism was faced with both new challenges and potentialities.

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Olusegun Steven Samuel and Ademola Kazeem Fayemi

Abstract

This article is a critique of Thaddeus Metz's modal relational approach to moral status in African ethics (AE). According to moral relationalism (MR), a being has moral status if it exhibits the capacity for communal relationship as either a subject or an object. While Metz defends a prima facie plausibility of MR as an African account of moral status, this article provides a fresh perspective to the debate on moral status in environmental and ethical discourse. It raises two objections against MR: (1) the capability criterion inherent in MR is not only exogenous to African thought but also undermines the viability of MR; and (2) MR cannot account for the standing of species populations. Both objections have severe implications for biodiversity conservation efforts in Africa and beyond.

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“Did You Teach Us to Do Otherwise?”

Young Women in the Tsukunft Youth Movement in Interwar Poland and Their Role Models

Magdalena Kozłowska

Abstract

The article deals with the issue of Jewish youth movements’ contribution to women's empowerment in interwar Poland using the example of the socialist movement Tsukunft. The article explores the movement's politics of memory in the interwar period and the selection of heroines whom the young women of Tsukunft were supposed to emulate, as well as real-life examples of Bundist women activists of the interwar period who served them as role models. In its examination of this alternative to the examples proposed by the mainstream state narrative, the article offers a view of Jewish social life in Poland, but also asks more specific questions, such as the true nature of relationships between Bundist women and men.

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Sharon A. Kowalsky

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Educating the Other

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

Nicoleta Roman

Abstract

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.