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"Maternal Impressions"

Disability Memoirs in Socialist Poland

Natalia Pamula

This article discusses disability memoirs written by mothers of disabled sons during state socialism in Poland. It recovers an often forgotten experience of living socialism as a mother of a disabled child and analyzes disability as a category of difference that, unlike gender or class, was not reordered by the socialist state. It argues that disability reconfigured motherhood as a political institution under state socialism and shows that a child’s disability permitted women to become politically disobedient subjects. Disability allowed women who were responsible for their children’s overcoming disability to make demands on the state and criticize it for the lack of sufficient accommodations and resources. At the same time, the article highlights the violence embedded in the relationship between a disabled son and his mother.

Open access

Stiletto Socialism

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

Polona Sitar

women, and their dress, situated within the wider context of state policy, the economy, and the ideology of socialist Yugoslavia. In the late 1940s and 1950s, Yugoslavia established administrative state socialism, but the period after 1960 introduced a

Open access

From behind stall doors

Farming the Eastern German countryside in the animal welfare era

Amy Leigh Field

of scale could be achieved in East Germany. The intensification of eastern German agriculture and its discontents is a process that has its origins in state socialism in the mid-twentieth century, which the most recent waves of intensification in the

Open access

The 1905-1907 Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland

Articulation of Political Subjectivities among Workers

Wictor Marzec

The article examines the political mobilisation and construction of modern political identities among workers during the 1905-1907 Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland. Political process, creation and alternation of the political subjectivities of workers are explained in terms of hegemonic articulations as presented by the political discourse theory of Ernesto Laclau. While social claims merged with resistance against the national oppression of the Tsarist regime and the struggle for social and political recognition, political subjectivities took various contingent and competitive forms; thus the same demands could be integrated into different political narratives and collective identities. Combining discourse theory and process tracing makes alternations of the political field in time intelligible.

Open access

The Baikal-Amur Mainline

Memories and Emotions of a Socialist Construction Project

Olga Povoroznyuk

The Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM), a railroad in East Siberia and the Russian Far East, became the last large Soviet industrial project. Its construction in the 1970s and 1980s attracted migrants from across the USSR, who formed the bamovtsy, or group of BAM builders. They share a history of working and living along the BAM and constitute the majority population in the region. The article argues that emotionally charged social memory of the BAM construction plays the central role in reproducing and reinforcing the bamovtsy identity in the post-Soviet period. Drawing on in-depth interviews and focus groups, the article examines the dynamics of both individual and collective remembering of the socialist BAM. It forms a vibrant discursive and emotional field, in which memories and identities are reconstructed, relived, and contested. Commemorative ceremonies such as the fortieth anniversary of the BAM serve as forums of public remembering and arenas for the politics of emotions.

Open access

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

, and several films. Bonfiglioli argues that because during state socialism factories functioned as “microcosms of socialist values” (19), instilling certain structures of feeling, during postsocialism women textile workers narrate deindustrialization as

Open access

Janet Elise Johnson and Mara Lazda

messy, embodied, and intersectional feminist politics of women's sexual pleasures. The editors’ introduction engages in a conversation with various and contradictory Marxist experiments, but here, socialism was a theoretical or Anglo-American enterprise

Open access

Chiara Bonfiglioli

Bulgaria, and under the UNIP one-party government in postcolonial Zambia. While pointing to the limits of state socialism and its politics of women's emancipation, Ghodsee does not assume these limits to be a good enough reason to rule out socialist women

Open access

Sharon A. Kowalsky

throughout the region. Ioana Cîrstocea's piece examines the continued importance of Snitow's organization, NEWW, and the relationships it helped to foster after the collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe, highlighting the complexities of feminist

Open access

Contesting the Social Contract

Tax Reform and Economic Governance in Istria, Croatia

Robin Smith

consultation of foreign institutions after the end of socialism and the break-up of Yugoslavia. I believe that understanding tax practices must go beyond compliance to include how people perceive their relationship with the state through fiscal relations