This article discusses writing on women's and gender history in the pre-1945 period, written and published in Hungary under state socialism. Education, struggle for social change, legal history, and the history of work formed the four most important clusters in this rich body of historiography. Considering the position of these publications in the state-socialist or Cold War period and in Central Eastern European historiography and their uneasy relation to gender history as established since the 1980s, we can characterize them as a triply marginalized body of writing. The article pinpoints how the authors connected the history of women and gender to larger processes of emancipation, other categories of analysis, and transnational perspectives in historical writing, and explores their contribution to the historiography of women and gender in the twentieth century and to the intellectual history of state socialism. It also discusses why this historiography has fallen into oblivion.
Women's and Gender History Written in Hungary in the State-Socialist Period
Since the 1980s faculty and visiting lecturers at the University of Vienna, have collaborated on and contributed to various study programs and publications in global history and international development. This article explores how the desire to make these writings accessible to a broad spectrum of reading publics has combined with a specific interest in writing emancipatory rather than conservative and affirmative history. I argue that some of the professional dangers associated with writing global history—sometimes read by, and often directed to, less specialist audiences—are much more universal problems of historiography than many would think. Historians with a globalist agenda tend to be particularly well equipped to deal with these problems. This article explores how a number of writings emerging from the Vienna context have handled these problems and sought to combine transparency with accessibility. It also discusses some of the institutional and political contexts that have sustained the particular features of Vienna Global History, and some of the more problematic or ambiguous traits and critical evaluations of the Vienna enterprise.
This study argues that the changing relationship between paid work, unpaid work and paid care work and social services, and the struggle over this relationship and its implications, constituted key factors in shaping the ‘state socialist’ gender regime in Hungary from 1949 to the 1980s. The study is based on a wealth of recent scholarship, original sources and Hungarian research conducted during the state socialist period. It tries to give a balanced and inclusive analysis of key elements of women’s and gender history in the state socialist project of ‘catching-up development’ in a semi-peripheral patriarchal society, pointing to constraints, challenges and results of this project. Due to the complex interaction of a variety of actors and factors impacting on and shaping the state socialist gender regime not all women were affected in the same way by state socialist politics and gender struggles. Women’s status and opportunities, as well as gender relations, differed according to class, ethnicity and economic sector. As a rule, the gender struggle over state socialist family and gender arrangements in Hungary sought to reduce or temper tensions and conflicts by avoiding substantial or direct attack against the privileges of men both within the home and elsewhere.
The Making of Class- and Gender-Based Solidarities
Susan Zimmermann and Nagy Piroska
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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Marianna D. Birnbaum, The Long Journey of Gracia Mendes
Melissa Feinberg, Elusive Equality: Gender, Citizenship, and the Limits of Democracy in Czechoslovakia, 1918–1950
Linda Garland, ed., Byzantine Women: Varieties of Experience 800–1200
Milena Kirova, Maya Boyadzhievska and Biljana Dojcˇinovic´-Nešic´, eds., Glasove: Nova humanitaristika ot balkanski avtorki (Voices: New humanitarian studies of women writers from the Balkans)
Ruth A. Miller, The Limits of Bodily Integrity. Abortion, Adultery and Rape Legislation in Comparative Perspective
Luisa Passerini, Dawn Lyon, Enrica Capussotti and Ioanna Laliotou, eds., Women Migrants from East to West. Gender, Mobility and Belonging in Contemporary Europe 263
Ralf Roth and Robert Beachy, eds., Who Ran the Cities? City Elites and Urban Power Structures in Europe and North America, 1750–1940
Edith Saurer, Margareth Lanzinger and Elisabeth Frysak, eds., Women’s Movements. Networks and Debates in Post-Communist Countries in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Lucienne Thys-S¸ enocak, Ottoman Women Builders. The Architectural Patronage of Hadice Turhan Sultan
Galina Valtchinova, Balkanski yasnovidki i prorochici ot XX vek (Balkan visionaries and prophetesses in the twentieth century)
Natascha Vittorelli, Frauenbewegung um 1900. Über Triest nach Zagreb (The women’s movement around 1900. Through Trieste to Zagreb)
Dubravka Žarkov, The Body of War: Media, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Break-up of Yugoslavia
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.