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Francisca de Haan

It is a great pleasure to present the first volume of Aspasia, an international peer-reviewed yearbook that seeks to bring out the best scholarship in the field of interdisciplinary women’s and gender history focusing on, and especially produced in, Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe.

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Francisca de Haan

It is a pleasure to present volume 5 of Aspasia, which consists of six articles, nine Forum contributions about regional women’s and gender studies, two review essays, nine book reviews, and an In Memoriam of Richard Stites, the influential historian of women in Russia.

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Francisca de Haan

In the quarter century since the fall of communist governments across Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, scholars have used increased access to archival sources and the fresh perspective created by time to begin to re-evaluate the Cold War, the “all-encompassing struggle for global power and influence between the United States, the Soviet Union, and their respective allies.” Yet, much of this new research remains centered on traditional topics like decision making amongst political elites, diplomacy, and espionage. Scholars are only beginning to explore the various and complex ways in which gender played a role in the Cold War conflict, in terms of representation and language, as having shaped foreign policy, or as a core field in which the two sides competed, each advocating its way of life, including its gender system, as superior and in women’s real interest. The Soviet Union, having given women full economic, political, and legal rights, at least until the 1970s claimed to have solved the “woman question”; in 1963, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev proudly stated in a message to an international congress of women held in Moscow that women were full-fledged members of Soviet society. The United States, by contrast, especially in the early Cold War, claimed that its system allowed women to fulfill their feminine nature by staying at home and being happy housewives and mothers. US Cold War discourse constructed state-socialist or communist involvement with women’s rights as false and women in state-socialist countries as de-feminized, exploited, and exhausted.

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Francisca de Haan

The years 1917 and 1918 witnessed the end of the Russian, German, Habsburg, and Ottoman empires, with huge consequences for European and global history. Yet despite the obvious importance of empires to the history of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, gendered imperialism—especially within Eastern Europe—has received little attention from scholars. The theme section included here, “Rethinking Empire from Eastern Europe,” for which Susan Zimmermann served as guest editor, aims to begin addressing this omission.

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Writing Women's Lives: Auto/Biography, Life Narratives, Myths and Historiography

An International Symposium, 19–20 April 2014, Istanbul

Francisca de Haan

The Istanbul Women’s Library and Information Center Foundation, on occasion of its twenty-fourth anniversary, together with Yeditepe University organized the international symposium “Writing Women’s Lives: Auto/Biography, Life Narratives, Myths and Historiography,” which took place at Yeditepe University on 19–20 April 2014.

The symposium coordinators were Birsen Talay Keşoğlu, Vehbi Baysan, and Şefik Peksevgen, assisted by eleven more members of the Organizing Committee, including Aslı Davaz, director of the Istanbul Women’s Library.

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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.

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Francisca de Haan

This is the tenth volume of Aspasia, the international peer-reviewed annual of women’s and gender history of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE). Most readers will know that each volume of Aspasia usually contains some general articles about women’s and gender history in the region, and some articles related to a specific theme. Information about future themes, as well as general information about publishing in Aspasia, can be found on our website (www.berghahnjournals.com/aspasia).

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Francisca de Haan, Maria Bucur and Krassimira Daskalova

This is the third volume of Aspasia, with a focus on the gender history of everyday life. The questions in which we were interested included: How have broad institutional frameworks – religious, social, economic, political, and cultural – related to the ways in which average women and men negotiated their gender identities, and, vice versa, how have (changes in) gender identities and relations influenced broader institutional frameworks? Our call for papers also asked more specific questions: How have assumptions of religious institutions about gender norms shaped the everyday religious practices and spirituality of laywomen and men? How have sexual norms impacted how women and men perform and negotiate their sexual identity in their daily lives? What changes did state socialism bring to women’s and men’s gender identities and daily lives, and how did that change over time?

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Francisca de Haan, Maria Bucur and Krassimira Daskalova

This is the fourth volume of Aspasia, an international peer-reviewed yearbook, the aim of which is to provide a forum for the best scholarship in the field of interdisciplinary women’s and gender history of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. The articles published in Aspasia contribute to the expansion and enrichment of the field of women’s and gender history by making it more inclusive and by constructing bridges between the scholarship produced in and beyond the region. In addition they make it possible to challenge and deconstruct widespread notions about the ‘otherness’ and/ or ‘backwardness’ of the region by allowing us to expand our knowledge of a part of Europe that has a complex, though little known, gender and women’s history, and to situate these histories within broader contexts. A number of items included in this volume, not only articles but also book reviews and contributions to the Forum and News and Miscellanea, take up the challenges of deconstructing superficial notions about the region and of offering comparative perspectives.

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Asli Davaz, Birsen Taylay Keşoğlu, D. Fatma Türe, Suzan van Dijk, Francisca de Haan and Annette Mevis

Kadin Eserleri Kütüphanesi Ve Bilgi Merkezi Vakfi: The First and Only Women’s Library and Archives in Turkey Asli Davaz

Women’s Memory: The Problem of Sources. A Conference Report Birsen Talay Keşoğlu and D. Fatma Türe

Ann.: Women Writers in History: Toward a New Understanding of European Literary Culture Suzan van Dijk

Ann.: MATILDA: Joint European Master’s Degree in Women’s and Gender History Francisca de Haan

Ann.: Aletta – Institute for Women’s History (the Former IIAV) Annette Mevis